Pitfalls to avoid when adopting DevOps

devops2As DevOps continues to grow in popularity, some organizations still struggle with its successful implementation. Perhaps developers really don’t understand the practice and chafe at being forced to follow its concepts? Maybe the network engineers feel DevOps favors the software team, while automating many of their standard administrative tasks?

Whatever the reasons for its difficulty in adoption, getting things right offers many benefits to software shops of all sizes. DevOps plays a key role in boosting development efficiency to the point it becomes a competitive advantage. So, let’s take a look at a few common pitfalls to avoid when adopting DevOps.

Avoid these Mistakes when adding DevOps at your Software Shop

Rebecca Dodd, from the software development process experts at GitLab, wrote an article for DZone covering these major pitfalls to avoid during a DevOps implementation. She talked with a few people at GitLab responsible for project success with their customer base. They provided interesting food for thought on what issues hamper DevOps adoption.

Focusing Too Much on the Tools

GitLab noted that companies who make too much of an investment on their toolset tend to encounter difficulty when implementing DevOps. GitLab Technical Account Manager, John Woods, commented on the issue. “You think you have it all when you’ve got your issue tracker, version control system, CI/CD service, etc. However, what’s the cost of setting all those up and configuring them to ‘talk’ to each other?” said Woods. 

In essence, the time spent configuring and integrating multiple tools takes up valuable time and resources. GitLab calls this the “DevOps Tax.” Make it a point to ensure you use tools that support your DevOps policies and procedures; not the other way around.

In a similar fashion, some companies simply become too attached to their development tools. This adds difficulty if those tools aren’t really compatible with the unique DevOps methodology. GitLab notes some customers try to wrench decades-old tools into their fledgling modern workflow.

Ultimately, the smartest tack involves finding the right integrated toolset compatible with how software gets written in a DevOps world.

Deployment and Monitoring are as Important as Development and Testing

Another pitfall noted by Dodd involves companies not covering the entire SDLC when adopting DevOps. Instead, the only follow its principles for software development and QA, ignoring it for the deployment and monitoring processes. Ultimately, this isn’t a true DevOps implementation.

In most cases, companies leverage DevOps to achieve continuous integration or continuous delivery. Reaching these goals isn’t possible without a full adoption of the methodology. In short, go hard or go home!

Security needs to be part of the DevOps Equation

We previously talked about the importance of information security as part of any DevOps implementation. This is one of the reasons DevSecOps is a hot buzzword. In these days, cybersecurity needs to be a core concept within any software development practice – DevOps or not.

GitLab notes that companies adopting DevOps who still treat security as an afterthought ultimately struggle with its implementation. Valuable resources end up making security-related fixes at the last minute. Consider a DevSecOps approach.

Ultimately, steer clear of these pitfalls to ensure your DevOps adoption goes great!

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

Is DevSecOps making a Difference in Information Security?

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It seems nary a week passes without a story about a hacking incident making the evening news. Additionally, many CIOs report a skills gap when it comes to employing experienced information security professionals. As such, the demand for these IT pros is now going through the roof – as well are their salaries.

So what about DevSecOps, the cybersecurity focused variant of the DevOps methodology, slash, organizational structure? We’ve talked about it in the past and are wondering if it is truly making a difference in today’s technology world. Let’s take a closer look.

The Current State of DevSecOps in the Industry

Last month, SD Times looked at what inroads DevSecOps is making throughout the software development industry. They asked the same question as us: is it truly making a difference considering the never-ending scourge of cyber attacks and similar forms of nefarious behavior. Considering the difficulties some organizations encounter when implementing DevOps itself, it is simply too new to make much impact?

Derek Weeks, vice president and DevOps advocate at Sonatype, echoes that opinion. “I will say I think we’re early on in the DevSecOps movement of practices that are being implemented. I think with the organizations that have attempted to do it, they are seeing early successes and are happy with that. The vast majority of the market has not gotten their feet wet with DevSecOps practices yet,” said Weeks.

When looking at the recent tech news, however, it becomes time to quote Spock: “Mr. Scott, speed is of the essence.” The core of the issue involves successfully implementing security within a software engineering organization’s current DevOps initiatives. If those practices are still emerging, obviously adding the “Sec” to DevOps becomes more difficult.

A Cultural Change is Essential for a DevSecOps Implementation

A successful DevSecOps implementation requires both a cultural shift within a software development shop as well as buy-in from the executive team. Of course, these same things are necessary for switching to DevOps itself. Obviously, a mature DevOps organization will likely find it easier adding security to an existing framework.

Weeks feels security practices need to be actually embedded in the software development workflow, as opposed to tacked to the process after the fact. Making information security practitioners serve as a gatekeeper instead of collaborator isn’t the best approach. They need empathy for the entire SDLC. 

Training software engineers in the proper application of cybersecurity technology ultimately works better. This serves to foster the kind of teamwork and collaboration that is the hallmark of DevOps itself. It also provides companies the chance to close their information security skills gap in an internal fashion.

John Martinez, vice president of customer solutions at Evident.io, commented on the inroads DevSecOps is making at his firm: “I think the DevOps side of DevSecOps has definitely been much faster to respond and I think we’re starting to see, at least on our side, the cross-pollination on the security side where a lot of the agile practices are starting to fit over on the SecOps side.”

Ultimately, DevSecOps is a still emerging practice. However, the importance of companies successfully implementing it cannot be overstated.

That’s it for this edition of the Betica Blog. Stay tuned for additional insights from the wide world of software development. Thanks for reading!

Are Developers finally starting to Understand DevOps?

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Software developers remain a curious and opinionated bunch. Over the last few decades they tend to adapt slowly to new methodologies, with DevOps offering little exception to this golden rule. A recent survey reveals things are finally beginning to change, as it shows application engineers beginning to actually “get” DevOps.

Of course, we recently wrote about network administrators feeling DevOps is all about the “Dev” in the first place. What follows is an analysis of the survey to see what these changing opinions mean for the process of software engineering. Perhaps you might gain an insight or two to help your own team’s project work?

Survey says DevOps makes Software Development Faster

Most organizations implementing DevOps do so in the hopes of making their software development process faster and more efficient. A survey of software engineers, CTOs, and IT pros by application maker, GitLab, notes that these wishes appear to be coming true. News about the survey appeared last month on the Developer Tech website.

According to the GitLab study, two-thirds of those polled feel DevOps greatly improves the speed of the software development process. This 65 percent moves upwards to 81 percent when only taking into account the opinion of managers. 29 percent of those surveyed plan new DevOps investments in the current year.

The best shops using the methodology are able to spend at least half of their workday actually writing code. Changes get deployed on demand. In short, these top organizations are twice as productive as those whose DevOps implementation is either immature or nonexistent.

Challenges to Efficient Application Engineering Remain

In their survey, GitLab highlighted a few challenges to the software development process. Two-thirds of the respondents noted the lack of clear direction on application engineering projects. Slightly over half mentioned the need for rework and unexpected scope creep, while 31 percent felt unrealistic expectations hampered their efforts.

Leveraging automated processes to improve efficiency is a high priority at 60 percent of the surveyed organizations. Around 90 percent of those companies are currently using Agile, DevOps, or a mixture of both. 16 percent are still using the venerable Waterfall methodology for some or all of their development work.

Continuous testing also plays an important role in the ultimate success of any company’s DevOps adoption, a concept highlighted by Razi Siddiqui, SVP and CIO at GCi Technologies. “It’s a key indicator that your DevOps/agile practice is mature, and your QA strategy must take into account that 100% test automation is not practical – nor is it possible,” said Siddiqui.

Sid Sijbrandij, CEO and co-founder of GitLab, commented on their survey conclusions. “The survey reveals software professionals finally see the need for DevOps in their workflow and are beginning to adapt their workstyle in order to make this a reality. Despite the progress in the shift in mindset, current DevOps practices are not cutting it. Instead of a single application that accomplishes the goals of both Dev and Ops, many glue together the tools for the two departments, which has proven to be an ineffective means for collaboration,” said Sijbrandij.

It definitely appears that any enterprise software development not using DevOps runs the risk of being left behind in today’s business landscape. Thanks for reading this edition of the Betica Blog. Keep returning for additional insights on the wide world of software development.