Is DevOps still considered to be New?

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Even with DevOps rapidly becoming an industry standard as a software development methodology, some IT pros still think of it as something new. In a technology world known for its rapid pace of change, this appears to be a surprising development. Of course, many industry veterans still call Agile new even after nearly two decades of use.

What follows is an analysis of a recent survey of tech professionals on DevOps and its usage at their organizations. Perhaps, the survey findings offer a measure of insight into DevOps’ true place in the software engineering world?

DevOps Adoption remains Difficult for many Businesses

As with any revolutionary change in methodology, some businesses struggle with successfully adopting DevOps. This fact is noted in DevOps Pulse 2017, a recently released survey by Logz.io, a data analytics company, which polled over 700 technology organizations. Madison Moore reported on the study’s findings in SD Times.

Half of the companies in the study only recently began adopting DevOps. This group includes either those firms currently in implementation or with a successful adoption within the past year. Still, data that shows 50 percent of the surveyed companies in the preliminary stages with DevOps bodes well for the methodology’s continued growth.

Some of the reasons companies struggle with DevOps include a few common complaints. Inflexible company policies, poor communication and transparency, as well as little incentive for change among tech managers rank near the top of the list.

“These three actions — among others — are often tied to the fact that it is very hard to escape the typical silos that develop within companies and teams. Everyone and every team has a different way of working and a different set of priorities to address, and goals to meet,” noted a comment from the survey.

A DevOps Skills Gap still matters

In addition to the three challenges highlighted earlier, many survey respondents also reported difficulty in finding IT professionals experienced in DevOps. The extra time and resources required to change procedures and structure to adopt DevOps remain hard to find while still meeting the current responsibilities of the organization. Most company executives likely won’t allow a few months of no software being written and deployed for a revolutionary methodology change.

In fact, the survey respondents already suffer from stress, with nearly half reporting either moderate or extreme levels of pressure. 70 percent also worry about becoming burned out. In this environment, it is no surprise DevOps seems like the latest “new kid on the block” conspiring to siphon their productivity.

DevOps’ Advantages are worth the Struggle

Along with the survey findings related to the struggle to implement this new methodology, DevOps Pulse 2017 also noted some of the cost savings achieved by combining DevOps adoption with Cloud-based service offerings. Many respondents use cost management programs like Cloud Native, Cloud Health, and other Amazon Web Services tools.

In short, while adopting DevOps is difficult, its benefits definitely make it worth the effort. Ultimately, companies need to ensure their staff receive proper training. A gradual rollout of the new methodology using a pilot project ensures minimal disruption to the business.

Keep coming back to the Betica Blog for additional insights from the software development world. Thanks for reading!

 

News from the World of Software Development – November 2017

Welcome to this month’s edition of the Betica Blog news digest, looking at a few recent stories of interest to the software development community. With the Holidays rapidly approaching, it becomes time to ramp up the effort to successfully reach your organization’s year end goals. Perhaps the stories within provide a measure of insight to inspire your team? If interested in last month’s digest, simply click on the following link.

Is DevOps’ Maturity Level being exaggerated by CIOs?

We regularly talk about DevOps: its growing adoption rate, the advantages it brings to the software development process, strategies on how to implement it, and more. A recent study by the tech industry research group, Forrester, notes that executives exaggerate the maturity level of their DevOps adoption. ZDNet reported on the study findings earlier this week.

In short, Forrester feels CIOs overstate their progress at implementing DevOps. According to the research firm: “[businesses] are gaining some speed, but the primary benefit connecting development and operations for both speed and quality is still elusive for many.” A major issue hampering full adoption involves the large cultural changes that need to happen for a successful implementation.

Increasing the speed of software delivery is one thing, but sometimes additional velocity comes at a cost in overall quality. This appears to be another issue affecting the perception of DevOps maturity. In fact, different perspectives exist between CIOs and DevOps practitioners as far as the overall success of the practice at their business.

Another reason executives exaggerate their organization’s success level with DevOps relates to overestimating the number of automated processes in place in their software development practice. Automation remains a key indicator of DevOps adding value to a company, according to Forrester.

Ultimately, Forrester concludes that “[f]or an enterprise to implement DevOps successfully, both executives and practitioners need to understand the current maturity state. Executives and practitioners differ widely in their perspectives on strategy, customer experience and progress they have made on their DevOps journey. When pros and executives are on the same page, your business wins!”

Microsoft lets F# target .NET Core Projects

Microsoft introduced .NET Core in August, an open source version of its software framework; an example of Redmond’s friendlier stance towards the open source software community. The preview version of Visual Studio, the company’s flagship IDE, allows F# programmers to target .NET Core as well the standard version of the framework. News about this new VS feature appeared this week in Visual Studio Magazine.

F# is Microsoft’s largely functional programming language that includes a measure of object-oriented and imperative methodologies. The F# Software Foundation also contributed to its development and produced an open source compiler for the language.

Microsoft’s Phillip Carter commented on the new F# support for .NET Core. “Finally, we are laying the groundwork for a long-term effort of migrating all F# projects to the new project system that .NET Core and .NET Standard projects use,” said Carter. Microsoft maintains a repository for their open source F# compiler and other related tools on GitHub.

Uses for F# abound; the language is especially known for its brevity and ease of maintenance. For example, Credit Suisse relies on the language for writing quantitative models for the financial industry. Other applications include asset portfolio optimization, machine learning, business intelligence, and more.

Hopefully this edition of the Betica Blog news digest provided some insight to help in your daily duties. As always, thanks for reading!

Lean helps Organizations implement DevOps

With more businesses jumping on the DevOps bandwagon, some still struggle during the adaptation. As with any newer methodology, it helps to analyze the best practices of those early adopters to foster a smooth implementation at your own company. Increasingly firms look to Lean, a system focused on improving efficiency first developed in the manufacturing world, as a pathway to DevOps success.

We previously talked about Lean as a popular Agile framework. Let’s look more closely at how it makes implementing DevOps easier for businesses of all sizes. It just might be what your company needs to succeed.

Lean focuses on Process Efficiency

Lean first grew out of a desire to make car manufacturing more efficient through the reduction of waste. When we covered it as an Agile framework earlier this year, we mentioned its appropriateness for companies with well-defined procedures and policies already in place. IT manager, John Rauser recently wrote an article for SD Times illustrating how Lean can also make a positive difference for businesses adopting DevOps.

Rauser notes how Lean emphasizes process efficiency, focusing on optimizing the interaction between those involved on a project. He explains the differences between this approach and traditional IT’s focus on resource efficiency. Since the prime directive of DevOps usually involves improved software delivery, streamlining the flow of that process makes perfect sense.

The hallmarks of Lean – waste reduction, enhanced collaboration, and ultimately faster delivery – dovetail nicely with the principles of DevOps. Rauser feels these same goals need to foster a transition from an IT department made up of functional silos to one group built around the flow of the software development process. Strong collaboration combined with an “experimentation and feedback loop” then becomes basis for a new organizational culture.

Joining the Efficiency Matrix

The Efficiency Matrix, from This is Lean, serves as an abstraction of the pathway from an old school resource-focused IT shop to one that embraces DevOps. Resource efficiency as it relates to localized silos offers little to a modern shop hoping to achieve continuous delivery. Hauser comments that shops using this outdated structure to deliver software in today’s business world suffer from waste due to poor interaction between these silos.

Realizing the inefficiency of their current organizational structure remains the key for most businesses looking at DevOps as a software development panacea. A Lean approach requires this realization before a transformation to a process-based structure begins. Implementing DevOps as a trial project within a subset of the organization serves as a proof of concept for those unsure about the new direction.

Finding someone passionate and experienced about leading this change offers a greater chance of success. This needs to happen before DevOps gets rolled out on a larger scale. Leveraging Agile techniques along with the integration of automation and other tools plays a key role in improving process efficiency.

Ultimately, growing into a mature Lean DevOps organization involves close monitoring while making subtle changes as necessary. It essentially becomes one living organism focused on delivering value as efficiently as possible. This is worthy goal of any software development business in today’s market.

Stay tuned to the Betica Blog for additional dispatches on the ever-changing world of software development. As always, thanks for reading!