How DevOps empowers your Dev team
For all the benefits it provides once implemented, adopting DevOps isn’t always the smoothest process. By its nature, DevOps disrupts many of the established processes in software development, and it’s impossible to transition into a DevOps culture without making the effort to adapt to this new working environment. For skilled engineers moving into management positions, letting go of day-to-day responsibilities and delegating important tasks can be difficult. But as a manager, being able to delegate tasks is essential in freeing up enough time to take a step back and focus on a broader view of your team, its individual members, and how they fit in to the organisation at large.
In this blog, we’ll look at how implementing DevOps in your organisation can empower your Dev team to achieve greater things, while at the same time allowing you, as a manager, to more easily and effectively manage your team.
Delegating menial or repetitive tasks gives your team more time to excel at what they do best.
A significant part of a DevOps implementation comes down to automating some of the more mundane and error-prone tasks that take place in your business. For example, implementing a Continuous Delivery pipeline automates critical steps in your development process, such as integrating disparate code branches and automatically performing the necessary tests before sending it on to Operations. Not only does this mean that your team doesn’t have to deal with stressful, repetitive tasks that are prone to finger-error and often time consuming, it frees up time for them to focus on more important tasks that require some degree of innovative thinking and problem solving that wouldn’t be possible without a human brain. This doesn’t only empower your staff by giving them time to work on more stimulating tasks, it gives them a sense of ownership over their roles in your organisation and enables them to do work they are passionate about.
Continuous Integration makes your team more efficient by eliminating redundant processes.
Continuous Integration is the process of integrating the disparate branches of code written by the different developers in your organisation through an automated, self-testing system. Popular CI software like Jenkins allows you to set up, customise and manage your own workflows that suit the pace and style of your business. This means your developers don’t have to waste time on builds and running manual tests, which could not only take time away from other, more important tasks, but also result in higher chances for finger error. Other software, like Puppet, makes it possible to develop an entire Integrated Development Environment (IDE), which consists of a code editor, compiler, debugger and a Graphical User Interface (GUI) builder. This provides the benefit of centralising your entire development process within a single application that all members of your team can access easily.
Working in sprints gives your Dev team a better idea of the challenges they face.
Scrum methodology and development sprints make some drastic departures from traditional software development. In many ways, working in sprints empowers your development team to take more ownership of the work they do: at the planning stage, the development team works alongside the client to agree on the work required, and has the last say as to exactly how much work should be accomplished during the sprint. As soon as the sprint begins, the scrum master needs to take a back seat and let the team get along with their work. Even though this is one of the most challenging adjustments for Dev managers to make, it’s crucial that you give the wheel over to your team and trust that they will deliver on the requirements by the end of the sprint. Without the safety net that a manager provides, your development team will need to think on their feet, tackle problems head-on as they materialise, and share skills with other members to ensure the work is completed by the time of the deadline.
Failure is a normal step in the DevOps journey – don’t shy away from it.
Business in the 21st century marketplace is hyper-competitive, and this is even more true of IT than it is of other sectors. It’s no surprise that fear of failure has become a built-in feature to competing in today’s business landscape. In a DevOps culture, though, this is flipped on its head – DevOps provides a safe enough framework for developers to experiment with new and innovative ideas without failure impacting the overall project progress. With the selection of proprietary and open source DevOps software available, it’s possible to save snapshots of your project while it’s in progress and quickly revert back to the last stable iteration should something go awry. The more your team is willing to try, fail, and try again, the more likely you are to come up with innovative solutions that delivers higher quality software at a faster rate to clients, create a good reputation for your organisation and, most importantly, give each member of your team the sense that their input is valued and contributes to the end product.
ECS Digital is a DevOps consultancy with 12 years’ experience implementing both enterprise and open source DevOps solutions for companies all around the world. If you’re interested in finding out more about our approach to DevOps and the unique insights we can offer into what makes a DevOps implementation work, download our free guide to DevOps Culture.