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What is DevOps? – A definition

What is DevOps? – A definition

DevOps has become the go-to concept for companies looking to optimize agile processes. However, although DevOps principles are already applied in many businesses, many find it difficult to understand what exactly DevOps is, what it looks like in practice, and how far-reaching its implementation can be. We explain all in this post.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a joint approach to organizational and process improvement that emphasizes the need for collaboration between the Development (Dev) and Operations/IT (Ops) teams within a company. Initially conceived as a way to identify new methods to boost agility, the term DevOps was first coined at a conference in Belgium in 2009. Since then, it has become one of the most widely discussed concepts in the quest for the most effective working methods. Many major companies have now adopted their own DevOps strategy.

What is the aim of DevOps?

By using standardized processes and tools across the different areas of the company, and by considering challenges in the same way, DevOps aims to facilitate more effective and efficient collaboration between software development, system administration and quality assurance. DevOps is a concept in which company culture is a core element; its reach extends far beyond the optimization and acceleration of individual processes.

DevOps is a joint approach to organizational and process improvement between the Development (Dev) and Operations/IT (Ops).

How does DevOps work?

It takes time to change the culture of a company – but shifting to this new way of thinking brings significant and long-lasting benefits. According to DevOps pioneer John Willis, the establishment of this kind of culture within a company relies on five principles, based on the motto "Keep C.A.L.M.S. and carry on":

  • Culture describes the creation of a safe environment for innovation and productivity. To create this environment, the company must break through the borders separating its various departments – the days of developers on one side and operators on the other, each pursuing their own distinct set of objectives, must be confined to history.

  • Automation refers to the belief that optimization relies on automation. Automating processes creates consistency, saves time, and prevents errors.

  • Lean means avoiding waste yet still achieving the desired results. Process optimization must be viewed holistically, and transparency is essential to achieve this vision.

  • Measurement refers to the consistent assessment criteria that a company must put in place. These criteria will enable the business to continually improve its processes.

  • Sharing is the basis for two-way communication. It refers to the willingness to share knowledge, learn from one another, and proactively share information.

What are the benefits of DevOps?

DevOps is a holistic concept of systemic thinking that focuses on the bigger picture. It not only allows an organization to optimize its processes, but also promotes inter-disciplinary understanding and appreciation, with employees playing an essential role in the philosophy.

DevOps involves feedback loops, designed to accelerate exchanges of information and feedback between teams. It promotes a culture of continuous experimentation and failure, through which the aforementioned loops are improved and the business is able to respond more rapidly, even if a mistake is made.

DevOps involves feedback loops and accelerate exchanges of information.

The approach results in an accelerated release cycle with higher-quality results and improved internal communication and relationships.

DevOps specialists are in demand

DevOps specialists are highly sought-after assets for companies; we’re also looking to expand our team. Demand is set to rise further still as digital development progresses, and the trend is expected to continue long into the future.

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