News from the World of Software Development – August 2017

Welcome to our regular look at interesting stories from the ever dynamic software development world; this time from the month of August. Hopefully, you find a bit of actionable information to help in your daily coding activities or perhaps the strategic direction of your organization. If interested in last month’s news digest, simply click on the following link.

New Product helps Companies keep track of DevOps Metrics

As DevOps continues to become part of the technology mainstream, companies struggle with determining the return on investment on their transition to a new methodology. DevOptics, a new product from CloudBees, aims to provide a means to track the efficacy of an organization’s DevOps processes and procedures. News about DevOptics appeared in August in Enterprise Times as well as other sources.

One of CloudBees’ major features is a real-time view of an organization’s software development pipeline, allowing managers and other key personnel to track the status of code changes as they are pushed from development to QA and eventually production. The hope is to lessen the number of meetings that tend to siphon productivity. Sacha Labourey, the CEO of CloudBees, commented on DevOptics.

“This is about data. We go through a lot of code changes, use a lot of tools, make a lot of modifications but all of the data vanishes. DevOps has been adopted in many, many cases as a feature that we replicate across the organizations. It’s a feature at scale not an enterprise solution. Now we are moving towards building a system of record for IT processes,” said Labourey.

If your organization is interested in how DevOptics can help keep a handle on your DevOps implementation, contact CloudBees to schedule a demo of the product. It just might be the missing piece of the puzzle for managing your software development projects.

Continuous Delivery – powered by AI – is the Future of Software Development

A recent article in The Next Web wonders if continuous delivery, assisted by artificial intelligence algorithms, is the future of software development. Considering how often we cover DevOps and continuous delivery here on the blog it is safe to wonder if that future is actually already here.

The Next Web article cites recent survey data from Evans Data that shows while a majority of companies – 65 percent – are using continuous delivery as part of their software development process, they only leverage it on a subset of their projects. Only 28 percent of surveyed organizations use it for all their applications.

Leveraging AI and machine learning as part of automation will play a key role in making continuous delivery commonplace. This is the opinion of Diego Lo Guidice of Forrester Research. “AI can improve the way we build current software; it will change the way we think about applications — not programming step by step, but letting the system learn to do what it needs to do — a new paradigm shift,” said Lo Guidice.

Expect artificial intelligence to continue to make inroads throughout the software development world, but especially in improving processes currently using automation. Once it does, continuous delivery – and DevOps for that matter – will truly become an industry standard.

Stay tuned to the Betica Blog for additional insights from the wide world of software development. As always, thanks for reading!

DevOps: Is it here to Stay?

With the Agile methodology closing on its third decade of use, one of its offshoots – DevOps – is transitioning from the latest technology buzzword to an IT industry standard. The raw numbers reveal the growing popularity of the software development framework – slash – organizational structure. A recent study noted 74 percent of businesses now make some form of DevOps investment.

Does this increase in adoption in the business world mean DevOps is finally here to stay? Will it continue to grow in demand, or is another methodology just around the corner? Leverage these insights to drive your own decisions on the right framework for your software shop.

Why are Companies moving to DevOps

A recent “State of DevOps” study, highlighted in Information Week, reported that companies with successful DevOps implementations are able to deploy code – new features and bug fixes – 30 times faster than before. Considering the competitive business environment in this era of social media, organizations choose DevOps simply to keep up with the other firms in their sector. Another notable advantage is the 50 percent lower fail rate on deployments!

Less downtime leads to higher productivity, allowing companies to set a more aggressive timeline on their projects. Improved collaboration and communication among your stuff also serves to boost employee morale, leading to higher retention and lower HR costs.

The Demand for Experienced DevOps Engineers Grows

Another key indicator of continued maturity of DevOps is the high demand for engineers experienced in the practice. The average salary for these IT professionals is now over $100,000 according to Glassdoor. The staffing website, Indeed notes the DevOps engineer is the hardest role for companies to keep filled.

Expect this trend to continue, as more companies transition to a DevOps model, and require experienced professionals to help achieve a good return on their investment. Even as more processes become automated in DevOps, the demand for talented software development, network engineers, or a mix of the two won’t be going away.

DevOps Tools – and the Cloud – also becoming more Popular

The emerging popularity of DevOps is essentially matching the increase in Cloud usage at businesses. Companies leverage Cloud-based development environments using tools like Docker and Chef to lower costs and make processes work more efficiently. The latter remains one of the reasons organizations are able to increase deployment speed by 30 times, as noted earlier.

Tech industry analysts predict Cloud investment at businesses is expected grow for at least the next decade. In most cases, these organizations will continue to leverage a DevOps model to get the most out of their Cloud implementation. It is therefore reasonable to assume DevOps will continue to cement itself as the standard when it comes to the organizational structure in the IT world.

Striving for more efficiency in a competitive business environment made companies explore DevOps in the first place and will keep it as an important tool in the arsenal of the top software development organizations in the industry. This undoubtedly means DevOps is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

When you are looking for additional insights on the software development world, keep coming back to the Betica Blog. As always, thanks for checking it out!

Finding the Business Value in your Investment in Agile and DevOps

As companies continue to invest resources transforming their software development practice into an Agile and/or DevOps model, determining the resultant ROI still eludes some. This conclusion is one of the major findings in a recent survey of CIOs published in ZDNet. On the other hand, many respondents report the faster time to production of software enhancements and bug fixes.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the other results of the study to see if these conclusions help your organization decide whether or not Agile and DevOps make sense in your shop.

DevOps Study reveals the need to Accurately measure Business Value

The study in question was conducted by Forrester Research and sponsored by Blueprint Software. While a majority of those surveyed are able to offer anecdotal evidence of the success of their DevOps transition – typically faster software delivery – they largely can’t translate that evidence into tangible business value. Forrester defines this term as increased revenue, improved competitiveness, a growing customer base, and ultimately – enhanced profitability.

45 percent of the surveyed companies currently use business value as a metric to measure the efficacy of their software development process. Nearly two-thirds of the organizations in the survey rely on that time-honored metric – speed to production – as the prime indicator of success using DevOps and Agile. Surprisingly, only one-third considers return on investment to be a valid indicator of success when migrating to these newer methodologies.

The ZDNet analysis of the survey notes that organizations need to improve communication and collaboration throughout their business to truly gauge the impact of a transition to Agile and DevOps. Since DevOps already requires this additional focus on team interaction as part of its process, these same teams can work together to devise a set of metrics to accurately measure the new methodology’s contribution to business value. Companies need to get beyond merely using status updates over email to communicate success.

Taking the Steps to bridge the DevOps Cultural Divide

Many of the surveyed organizations are trying to improve their still nascent DevOps implementations with both technical and business initiatives. 61 percent are engaged in the process of developing better metrics to measure the value of process improvement. Improving business requirements is occurring at 58 percent of the companies – another task that benefits from the additional collaboration ushered in by DevOps.

Close to half of the firms in the study are improving the management of their Agile teams, while also leveraging new technical practices, like continuous testing, to gain additional efficiencies in the SDLC. 84 percent of those surveyed feel devising a means for tracing delivered source code components to their initial business initiative would go a long way in improving business value metrics. The automation of reporting throughout the entire DevOps release chain to boost business visibility is something desired by 80 percent of the respondents.

If anything, the results of the survey reveal how DevOps is still maturing at most of the organizations currently implementing it. Improving the visibility of the process through better reporting that advertises how software enhancements are meeting vital business needs can only help. Read the survey in full to see how its conclusions can help your team go Agile!

Keep returning to the Betica Blog for additional insights from the software development world. As always, thanks for reading!