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Operation DevOps - A secret undercover mission? or a way to optimise delivery?

Hi Guys,

Yes - still defiantly sticking with the 'Hi guys' introduction! Recently I've been attempting to write a number of small articles to demystify some of the populate buzz words used in IT Today. A sort of quick guide to surviving in IT.

I've recently applied to get involved with the LinkedIn self publishing platform and over time hope to make a number of these articles available via LinkedIn... but until then feel free to connect with me on inkedIn uk.linkedin.com/in/christianleemiles/

Back to the point! In my opinion DevOps sounds like some secret undercover military operations unit! In reality the truth as ever is much more boring.
If your already familiar with an agile methodology you may be aware of DevOps or perhaps some of the questions that start to arise as you progress through your Agile adventure....

With more and more developers doing 'Agile' in some form or other,  some of them began to ponder what do customers really want? business functionality over cool features perhaps... rapid iterations and deliveries to market?

Operation teams or application support have also been thinking the same (And I'm fairly sure Project managers have for years!)... I'm going to be honest... I've worked in small companies especially software houses and this is much less of a problem - but large organisations really suffer with this especially with internal IT departments... and This is where DevOps comes in!

So how about a question for you... If your doing Scrum and working in Sprints could you release workable code every month? Every two Sprints? Perhaps every Sprint?

How can your process be optimised to assist this? if your already familiar with XP (extreme programming)  your probably doing automated builds, automated testing etc - you've automated some of the mundane time consuming process's.... look at your own systems where are delays... is it in coding, testing or your release process? Is your CAB (Change Advisory Board) fit for purpose? does it add real value or is it a paper work box ticking exercise? is is really enhancing the product for your client and building in quality?

I've worked in IT since the mid 90's and I've seen a lot of ideas come and go - or usually the same ideas re-packaged (don't tell anybody) ! but I've always taken a very pragmatic approach to software and software delivery - in my opinion  DevOps is a way to be  more nimble, perhaps for IT to gain relevancy with it's users/customers.

IT can very easily be seen as nothing more than an irrelevant overhead, out of touch and full of excuses!  With DevOps  IT can become involved early in the process and throughout the process.

So what is DevOps? in reality it can be thought of as umbrella name encompassing lots of ideas - but at it's core it about removing the silos that all large organisations have, removing bottlenecks, and eliminate inefficiencies — whilst  working to a higher quality. If your doing Agile and or Lean none of this should be too foreign to you! Look at your retrospectives the transparency that Agile gives you - can you use those same ideas on an organisation? or is that a bit scary?

I'll try and do an article soon covering implementing DevOps into a 'large' organisation and some of the pitfalls along the way!

Christian Miles