Best Practices for Implementing DevOps in Software Development
Head of System Administration Department
Reading time: 9 minutes
There are many ways to achieve amazing coherence when working on a software product: talented programmers, an experienced project manager, the latest development tools, etc. However, there’s a component that connects all of these things to help you achieve more stability and reliability: DevOps. In this article, we’ll tell you what the best practices for implementing DevOps are and how to use them. Take notes and start applying them today!
What is DevOps?
DevOps (development operations) is a set of practices for streamlining and increasing the development process efficiency. It includes a high level of automation and constant updates. As a consequence, software remains up-to-date and bug-free. Thus, your clients can receive frequent updates of a high quality, which increases customer satisfaction. You can learn more about the basics of DevOps in our article on the role of DevOps processes in software development.
DevOps is the link between the development team and the operations team. Over time, the scope of DevOps has expanded, so it’s possible to differentiate other roles. For instance, a build engineer is in charge of building the code. A security engineer is responsible for running security tests and examining vulnerabilities in the components used during the software creation.
Typically, these roles are often assigned to other professionals. The tasks of a build engineer can be performed by other developers involved in the project, and system administrators can automate server settings. In this case, the DevOps specialist strives to automate the process of building and delivering code from the programmer to production.
Best Practices in DevOps
Continuous integration (CI)
As part of this DevOps practice, code written by different people is integrated into a single system. CI allows developers to speed up delivery. You can work with a piece of code right away, without waiting for something to be updated or until someone completes their part. Everything’s saved, and you can make edits whenever you want. The practice of continuous integration helps check the code with various automatic tools immediately after writing it, thereby removing some of the risks.
There are different types of tests. Each automated test solves specific problems. For example, unit tests allow you to test a unit separately, independently of the others. Integration tests allow you to understand how different modules integrate with each other. Thus, you can constantly check the quality of the individual parts of the software to ensure their quality.
Continuous deployment (CD)
After creating a build, it’s important to deploy it in some kind of environment, such as the one for developers. This way, you can see whether the deployment is successful and how the future software looks. At this stage of work, you can get rid of bugs and improve the functionality of the product.
In other words, it’s a rollback to the previous version of the app. For instance, if you make a mistake, you can always make a copy of the previous version, find its flaws and improve the code accordingly. This way, you don’t have to redo the entire work multiple times, which will speed up the process overall.
This DevOps concept helps introduce an additional abstraction: an artifact store, gallery, or library. Imagine that you have some kind of commit (the result of saving changes in the code), for example, in a branch that you are ready to distribute to different environments. In this case, you need to compile the apps from this commit, zip them, and save them in a secure place. You can get data from there at any time. The main advantages of this practice are reliability and systematization.
Application performance monitoring
You should regularly monitor how well your app performs. This is not a one-time action, but a constant process. This will allow you to avoid situations where negative changes accumulate in your program over several weeks. You’ll track important data to identify problems early on and fix them as they arise.
Role of DevOps Engineer in Software Development Team
Each company has its own work processes. However, there are generally accepted responsibilities for a DevOps engineer. Feel free to mention them in your job offer when looking for a specialist :). These are the skills that make a DevOps engineer professional:
- Knowledge of what DevOps practices are and how to implement them.
- Continuous deployment and continuous integration (CI/CD) management.
- Performance assessment and monitoring.
- DevOps use in cloud deployment and management.
- Implementation of DevOps practice for continuous integration.
Sometimes, DevOps engineers manage a company’s IT infrastructure. Thanks to this, all the data about the system is in the hands of one specialist, who has a complete picture and freedom of action.
DevOps Engineer Skills
When hiring a DevOps specialist, you need to define core requirements and responsibilities. And above all, it’s important to base your candidate requirements on automation tools and programming languages that you already use in development. Here are some more tips to help you hire the right professional:
- Determine what technical knowledge and experience a specialist needs to have.
- Understand whether you need a DevOps specialist to work at a specific point in the cycle or throughout the process, including product development.
- DevOps methodologies are all about communication and collaboration, so find a candidate who can be a team player and a manager at the same time.
- Pay attention to the leadership qualities of the DevOps engineer. This person will help you build and lead a cross-functional DevOps group.
However, in addition to these global criteria, your future employee must meet narrower requirements. Here are some primary DevOps skills:
Knowledge of Linux
Most DevOps operations involved working with GNU/Linux distributions. It’s a highly customizable operating system, and most server software is now well-prepared for it. Thus, using server software on Linux is easier than anywhere else. Linux is also known for the scalability of the services that run in its environment. Therefore, good hands-on experience with this OS is key to mastering DevOps best practices.
DevOps delivers code quickly, which is why bugs and vulnerabilities are common in the code. Therefore, DevOps engineers must have the skills to create secure and reliable software configurations to protect the app from attacks.
Automation is the heart of DevOps. It’s used for CI/CD, continuous testing, performance monitoring, and more. Automation increases the speed of delivery, improves accuracy by reducing errors, and delivers quality results.
Coding and scripting
Knowledge of tools
There are dozens of DevOps tools for monitoring, testing, version control, automation, and other tasks. The success of a delivered app depends on the skills of using particular tools to create it. In addition, the specialist must competently manage and configure these tools at different implementation stages.
You can assign DevOps engineering tasks to other professionals in your company to save on hiring and training employees. Alternatively, you can hire an experienced DevOps specialist to debug processes and speed up the delivery of software products. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to follow the best DevOps practices within your organization. We will be happy to help you solve this problem and contribute to your development.