Software Engineering is the computing discipline, which involves the analysis of components and modules of software and the way it interacts to build software. It includes the idea, design, storage, security, front and back end, programming, security, cost along with a set of rules on which it is standing. Software Engineering is vital at every stage of software development to understand how the software works and how it can be improved and secured.

  1. Why Software Engineering lacked Operations?
  2. An insight on DevOps
  3. Basic Principles and Techniques
  4. Benefits of adopting DevOps

Why Software Engineering lacked Operations?

In SE, the cycle of a product starts when the client appears with an idea to get a solution done against it. The first stage is the requirements gathering that moves over to the product’s development. There is a gap when the developer keeps on developing the product, but the client is not aware of the outcome. Sometimes the solution that client demands is not possible because of many technical limitations that the user doesn’t understand.

DevOps Development
Figure 1: Expectation vs. Reality

Methodologies, like agile, were adopted to resolve the conflict and reduce the communication gap between the development team and clients. However, the vast gap between developers and the operations team was still there due to which the reliable and quick delivery of the product was not possible. Therefore, a DevOps model came into existence to resolve the conflict between the teams, which uses the agile methodology in amalgamation with operations to manage end-to-end processes.

An insight on DevOps

DevOps gets into the picture in 2008 to fill the enormous gap between developers and system administrators. DevOps involves the collaboration amongst business owners, development, testing, and operations teams with an end-goal of delivering quality software continuously to enable the companies to stay ahead of the competition, grab large market share, and get quick user feedback.

Basic Principles and Techniques

To ensure smooth operational matters, there is a set of basic principals that can be adopted as follows.

Incremental Improvement

In incremental improvement, all development and testing are performed in a production-like environment. This is done to make sure the product is reliable and compatible with all major and minor upgrades. In this way, developers are aware of how the product will behave in the production environment. With continuous development and deployment, developers get feedback about each module instantly that helps in altering the code quickly before moving on to the next module.

Deploy with the repeatable, reliable process

DevOps, with its quest for continuous application upgrades, is transforming the business’s approach towards software development. Its release plan is very structured and is done with planning to ensure that the product has a smooth launch. Companies define careful release strategies and rollback options to be able to upload the previous version quickly in case of any failure. As continuous deployment is also about involving the client in the loop and getting instantaneous feedback from the real users, DevOps highly encourage automation of the processes to reduce the delivery time and avoid the hassle of manually upgrade or rollback, using Version Control Systems (VCS). Moreover, automated deployments are reliable and repeatable. Additionally, continuous deployment means that the software is always in the state of evolving; therefore, it is easier to make improvements to it whenever needed.

Consistently monitor and validate operational quality

With continuous integration, delivery, testing, monitoring, and feedback, it is easier to monitor the software quality consistently, quickly fix the bugs, and make changes based on the customer’s feedback. Developers regularly update their code in a single code repository where all the code logs are maintained. The code runs through various automated builds and tests to ensure its correctness and identify any bugs at the initial stage. Post its integration; the new changes are deployed and tested in a production-like environment.

The aim is to ensure software quality gets supervised and maintained at every stage of the development cycle. Hence the high-quality product is continuously delivered to the users. Lastly, logging is implemented to monitor the product’s performance in the actual user environment.

Amplify feedback loops

In DevOps, the internal feedback is as important as the external feedback from the users and the client. The concept of DevOps is all about collaboration amongst team members, cross-operational sharing, and team-building activities to get valuable feedback as quickly as possible to improve the software quality and hence the user experience.

Even though in the DevOps model, team sizes are to be kept very small, but it emphasizes collaboration, sharing responsibilities, and merging the efforts for a smooth workflow. This principle is being used by many large companies to maximize their productivity,

For instance, Amazon has a Two Pizza rule, which states that each internal team should be so small that only two pizzas should be enough to feed the whole team as the large groups tend to waste a lot of time in unnecessary things.

Benefits of adopting DevOps

Despite DevOps operational overheads, there are benefits to it that go on a long run to serve the organization’s purpose of having a quality product on hand.

Return on Investment (ROI)

DevOps model focuses on the collaboration between operation and development teams to define a clear objective and deliver high-quality products quickly, which gives the client time to market his product. Additionally, process automation minimizes the risks of human error and gives the developers time to focus on other modules in the mean-time, increasing their productivity. Therefore, a high-quality end-product is released quickly, reducing the time cost of development, debugging, and error fixing. Furthermore, in most of the cases, DevOps incorporates cloud technology to store data on the cloud, saving the cost of maintaining the servers at all times and buying the backup servers. Lastly, the regular updates and fixes enhance the user-experience of the customers.

Enhanced Customer Experiences

DevOps focuses a lot on involving customers in the development loop and improving the software’s quality by taking his perspective. The primary product goal is aimed at the product’s design and development process. Moreover, due to the continuous development and delivery, the product reaches the customer at earliest to have feedback on individual modules, rather than waiting a long time to receive the complete product at once when it is difficult to make amendments.

Capability to Innovate

Over the digital age, when technologies are evolving at a rapid pace, the success of a business depends on its ability to innovate and adapt. As the products in the DevOps are always in the state of evolving, it is easier to make changes to the modules and release the upgraded product rather quickly.

Faster Time to Value (TTV)

The automation structure of the DevOps model allows stable and quick software delivery. Due to its focus on high quality and fast delivery, it reaches the market in a short period resulting in reduced TTV for businesses to realize its value level.

All in all, it can be said that the DevOps has revolutionized the traditional software development methods to provide improved and quality software at a faster pace to meet the market’s needs as quickly as possible.