Adopting Agile or DevOps? Use the Cloud!

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Organizations of all sizes continue to embrace Agile and DevOps. Some firms might adopt one or the other methodology, while others combine the two in the hopes of improving their chances at success. Whatever the approach, there’s no denying that leveraging the Cloud makes adoption an easier process.

If your company is new to either Agile or DevOps, or are looking at ways to make the practice of both more efficient, here are a few insights on how the Cloud helps. Watch your team build and deploy great applications faster than ever before. Good luck!

The Cloud helps Agile and DevOps in a Myriad of Ways

An article by Leon Tranter for Extreme Uncertainty covers the different ways Cloud services make implementing Agile or DevOps a relative breeze. Maybe your organization is currently using the Cloud for a portion of its development operations? If so, you are already one step closer to a successful Agile adoption.

Of course, the Cloud facilitates the virtualized environments used for development, QA, and production. Using a virtual container application, like Docker, is essentially an industry standard in software engineering. In this case, the Cloud helps organizations achieve the velocity required for success in DevOps, eventually reaching the Holy Grails of continuous integration or delivery.

As Tranter notes, smaller businesses embracing either Agile or DevOps as part of a Lean startup approach especially benefit from the Cloud. Lower expenses combined with a faster entry to market make the Cloud a winner for many tech startups. It allows the SMB to truly take advantage of their agility.

A Cloud-based IDE?

The Cloud also facilitates the actual process of writing and storing code, especially collaboration in a distributed fashion. This fact largely contributed to Microsoft’s recent decision to purchase GitHub. In essence it gives Redmond a better chance of competing with Amazon’s industry-leading AWS Cloud service.

But what about an actual Cloud-hosted IDE – essentially an IDE as a Service (IDEaaS)? Tranter commented on the emergence of some IDEs offered using the SaaS model. This offers many advantages to startups or existing organizations hoping for the extra efficiency for a successful DevOps adoption.

The Cloud-based IDEs tend to be simpler than their fully-fledged brethren like Visual Studio or Eclipse. Organizations – no matter their size – need to weigh the functionality factor versus the cost savings gained through the Cloud option. Companies developing complex applications may still find a desktop IDE to be a better choice.

General Business Productivity Applications

On the other hand, the Cloud makes perfect sense for the office productivity applications used by any development shop. Choosing Google Docs over the Microsoft Office suite simply saves more money even with the latter option now being provided online. Examples from Application Performance Monitoring software to HR and payroll applications are now available as a SaaS offering.

The bottom line is simple. Any company – startup or enterprise – considering an investment in Agile or DevOps needs to look at leveraging the myriad of Cloud-based tools. The efficiencies and cost savings help earn a faster return on investment, not to mention an improved ability to thrive in a competitive business landscape.

Thanks for reading the Betica Blog. Stay tuned for additional insights from an evolving software development world.

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!