What to Know About the Rise of DevOps

Why is DevOps such a fast-growing area of development? The term has been around since 2009, when system administrator Patrick Debois first used it to describe the intersectional and cross-functional relationship between software development and operations. The goal of DevOps is to serve as the glue between historically separate developer and IT operations teams in order to provide structure and support for continuous development and deployment of new code. DevOps teams are responsible for streamlining these processes through automation of the assembly line, so releases can happen with greater frequency and so developers can focus on the code.

TechRepublic defines the area as encompassing “the already popular programming concepts of agile development, continuous integration, and continuous delivery, and extends that ethos into the social aspect of IT by placing a premium on the importance of tearing down walls that divide development, operations, support, and management teams.”

While there is still some confusion about the exact breadth of DevOps (is it a job title, department, operational strategy?), the area is growing quickly as businesses focus on how to improve internal processes to, in turn, better serve customers. Why are organizations building out their DevOps teams? Here are a couple reasons why the area is picking up steam.

Faster Delivery of Value

“Delivery of Value” generally means features getting shipped or code being deployed. DevOps techniques improves the team’s ability to deliver more new features faster with higher quality.

DevOps sits at the intersection of software development, IT operations, and quality assurance to understand the expectations and needs of each to best optimize paths to deployment. The major reason companies decide to build out a DevOps team is to speed up deployment of new code. DevOps specialists are responsible for delivering new code and software updates faster and more frequently and to identify any bugs earlier in the process.

You may have used software that is only updated yearly. The most common goal of a DevOps transformation is to have rapid releases. Imagine if new features and bug fixes were delivered monthly (or daily!) rather than waiting a year or more for the next software release. The company becomes better able to respond to competition, it becomes easier to add new features, and it enables a culture that can experiment and try new things.

A DevOps team ensures that companies big and small can quickly respond to technical issues and stay ahead of the curve with new releases, mitigating potential obstacles or roadblocks along the way. DevOps teams are implemented to make companies more efficient. Even if organizations don’t have an official division solely focusing on DevOps, it’s likely that they have a similar internal system in place for forging a clear path to deployment.

Better Service for Customers

Time is of the essence when bugs and bad code are disrupting a user’s experience. A DevOps division is tasked with coordinating and communicating with both the developer and QA teams to ensure that code is properly tested before reaching customers. Finding and addressing bugs before they reach users saves the time and capital to fix them after the fact. It also provides better service for users, helping business retain and grow a user base and create expectations for customers each time they interact with the company’s digital interface.

More Innovation

When developers don’t have to worry about the process for delivering code to market, they can focus on the code itself. Such reflection may lead to new ideas about how to improve and deliver new features that could benefit users and the company. Developers know their software better than anyone inside or outside the company, so they are uniquely situated to understand how to build out offerings and better serve customers with new features and products. By freeing up time for developers, organizations can help create time and space for creativity and innovation that can lead to greater service offerings and profitability down the line.

As companies rapidly build out their DevOps teams, it’s a great time to consider opportunities in the growing area of development. DevOps engineers often have a background in IT plus one or more of release engineering, automating processes, or website operations. If you’re looking for a new position in DevOps, Stack Overflow Jobs can help. Browse job openings at top companies right now.

Author

Thomas A. Limoncelli
Site Reliability Engineering Manager

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