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!

A Source Code Search Engine makes Programming more Efficient

No matter your experience level as a software engineer, being able to quickly find code examples helps make your job a bit easier. Most developers know how to write a complex Google search query, as well as being able to navigate GitHub. Nonetheless, having a dedicated source code search engine offers the potential to become more efficient at writing software.

A nascent software developer feels the same way, and is working on a search engine dedicated to finding those valuable code snippets that inspire a solution to a pressing problem. This approach also offers the potential to make learning new languages an easier process. Let’s take a closer look at his efforts.

Learning New Programming and discovering New Functionality

After being exposed to software engineering as part of his college education, Canadian developer, Anthony Nguyen felt there had to be a better way to find relevant code examples. Sure, a Google search helps somewhat, but what about a dedicated search engine specifically for source code? Nguyen began work on SyntaxDB, a tool he hopes to someday be an essential part of any developer’s toolbox.

Michael Byrne first reported on Nguyen’s efforts earlier this year at Motherboard on Vice.com. If Nguyen makes SyntaxDB a success, it becomes another key to making the modern software development team work more efficiently. Interested developers are able to use this emerging resource today.

Byrne notes the tool’s utility for seeing how a common code pattern or piece of functionality gets written in an unfamiliar language. Considering the rapid rate of change in the software development world, new languages and functional libraries get introduced regularly. Having SyntaxDB at the ready helps to speed up the learning process for any programmer.

The Developer Community helping SyntaxDB build its Content

One current weakness noted by Byrne involves SyntaxDB’s relative lack of reference documentation. At the time of his article, it appeared Nguyen himself produced a lot of the internal content returned in the search results.

A robust community of developers willing to help add material to the SyntaxDB database has come to the rescue; potentially increasing the amount of content referenced by the search engine. It currently provides references to many popular languages, including Java, C, C++, C#, Ruby, Go, Swift, Python, and JavaScript.

Adding extensions to allow SyntaxDB to work within the most popular IDE’s is another way Nguyen needs support. He built one for Visual Studio Code and other contributor wrote one for Atom. Nguyen hopes to eventually integrate SyntaxDB into every major IDE and source code editor – a worthy goal, indeed.

Nguyen also wants input from other developers on how to refine the search engine’s interface. He also encourages developers to submit any corrections to the tool’s current source code examples. His current major project with SyntaxDB involves building an interface to easily allow content contributions from other software engineers.

With a goal of becoming the fastest programming reference in the world, Anthony Nguyen gives hope to developers struggling to learn a new programming language or simply how to do something new. Take some time to use SyntaxDB and offer feedback and even add some content of your own.

Stay tuned to the Betica Blog for further insights on the growing software development world. As always – thanks for reading!