DevOps merges development and operations into one cohesive unit in the software development lifecycle. By adopting this approach, you will experience less rework, fewer defects, better communication, understanding, and easier testing and deployment.
So, if you’ve decided to adopt DevOps for your organization, it’s critical that you start your DevOps journey the right way. Here are 9 tips that’ll help you switch seamlessly to DevOps.
1. Understand the common terms
Before you start DevOps adoption, it’s highly recommended to go through its definition, background, and thought-leaders’ perspectives. It is also important to know what and how problems are solved and how it is evolving. This kind of knowledge can be gained through resources like blogs, books, vlogs, videos, etc. Moreover, it is a good idea to get surface knowledge of some common terms: DevOps, Agile development, CI/CD pipelines, quality, monitoring, infrastructure scaling, observability, etc. Once you have a basic understanding of these terms, start with the next step.
2. Learn Linux, networking and servers
When you enter the world of DevOps, you need to have a basic understanding of the server operating system, Linux, and networking.
Learning Linux is a great choice as most of the IT infrastructure is Linux based and has Linux support for operations such as network and system administration, database management, etc.
Thus, to facilitate development and deployment, have a basic knowledge of Linux, its CLI (Command-line Interface), package management, file management, server management, and SSH key management.
The fundamental concepts of networking also play an important role in the DevOps journey, so start with the below concepts:
- Proxy servers
- Load balancing
- Networking protocols (HTTP, HTTPS, TCP, FTP)
- Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
- Domain Name System (DNS)
- Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
To gain knowledge about a server’s side, learn about different servers, their differences, and common web servers (Apache or Nginx) along with their installation and configuration.
3. Learn containerization and virtualization
Both containers and virtual machines are among the most efficient methods for setting up a software infrastructure. By learning Containerization, you can encapsulate applications and its environment in a portable image file. It will help you add consistency, portability, and security to the infrastructure, thereby, increasing the agility of CI/CD cycles and minimizing resource usage. Some of the most popular containerization tools to get familiar with include Docker, Kubernetes, AWS, Google Container Engine, Azure Container Service, etc.
With Virtualization, you can create several virtual machines on a single server. Not only this, but also it is crucial to have extensive knowledge of hypervisors and containerization tools to manage VMs.
4. Learn CI (Continuous Integration)
Continuous Integration is a DevOps software development practice where developers merge their code changes into a central repository. Most often, it refers to the build or integration stage of the software release process. The key objective of Continuous Integration is to find and address bugs, improve software quality, and reduce the time to validate and release new software updates.
CI is an integral part of DevOps. It helps you detect errors and locate them easily. In addition, CI offers the following benefits:
- It decreases code review time and makes the project code homogeneous.
- It speeds up the process of development.
- It ensures continuous feedback.
- It helps avoid merge conflicts, duplicate code, and difficult-to-fix bugs.
Learn CI tools such as Jenkins, GoCD, Tekton Pipeline, Concourse, etc. to maintain or update plugins, create pipeline scripts, etc.
5. Develop an efficient tools strategy
Choosing the right tools is the key to successful DevOps implementation. They help with project management tracking, security assessment processes, version control, and more. Be sure of the purpose of each goal and see if they serve your business objectives. A well-planned tools strategy can make a big difference in your DevOps adoption journey.
6. Learn more about release management and configuration management
Learning release management enables you to manage software releases at a pace. Moreover, software apps contain multiple interconnected parts, which creates an enormous risk of failure. Users are also affected by bugs while using softwares. With release management, you can employ different strategies and minimize the risk of failure.
Configuration management is a process used to track and control IT resources and services across an enterprise. It enables the ability to scale infrastructure and software systems where it was previously not feasible to do so.
Learning about Configuration management will help you to declare what the servers should look like. It will also help you improve collaboration between operations and development teams.
7. Set short-term milestones
If you’re moving to DevOps, you should set some short-term milestones or realistic goals which you can easily monitor. These short-term milestones include small and realistic achievements (in terms of numbers) in order to keep stakeholders and other supporters excited about the changes.
Here are some questions to ask before setting the milestones:
- What metrics should be adopted?
- How should these metrics be valued?
- What ROI should DevOps provide?
However, the answers depend on the business size, CI/CD pipeline maturity, and reasons for implementing DevOps.
Pro tip: Track the goals on a timely basis and prepare to reassess and adjust accordingly.
8. Master at least one of the general-purpose scripting languages
In DevOps, several tools are used to automate tasks. Most of them are based on GUI and use scripting or commands.
DevOps engineers create the CI/CD pipeline by using all the available tools in the infrastructure or work environment. They do not write any code. Having a basic understanding of modifying the existing scripts is enough.
So, it’d be a huge benefit if you’ve mastered one of the scripting languages.
Here’re some of the general-purpose scripting languages you can learn:
9. Don’t forget to collect feedback
Switching to DevOps practice will affect several departments and individuals differently. You need to create continuous feedback loops to know how to grow and improve. If you don’t follow this practice, your business may face several challenges along with a slow growth rate.
So, give opportunities to your employees to vocalize their concerns and collect feedback on a continuous basis.
DevOps is a great practice to follow in order to streamline software development, delivery, and maintenance. It enables your organization to create better software products in less time and lower costs by accelerating the development cycle. However, if you want to make the most out of it, make sure you follow the tips shared above.
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