Continuous Everything – DevOps

DevOps is all about automation and continuity. The word “continuous” seems to be the root of many agile concepts in today’s world. As agile adapts and takes on more and more evolving practices, the glossary for this lean-structured methodology gets thicker and thicker.

Earlier we had discussed about continuous as a DevOps buzzword, and the continuous continuousness of DevOps because it seems like everything is continuous. There’s continuous delivery, continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous deployment, etc.

Continuous Delivery is the practice of ensuring that code can be rapidly and safely moved (aka “delivered”) between development, testing and staging environments. Every application/code change is delivered to a “production-like” environment through rigorous automated testing. This system for testing code incrementally and frequently to ensure quality is referred to as Continuous Integration. The value lies in the practice of continually integrating changes, so the system can catch errors and failures while they’re still small and manageable. Your automated, continuous integration system provides a level of confidence that the application can be deployed to production (in theory with a push of a button) when the business is ready.

Continuous Deployment is the next step in this model. Continuous deployment can be thought of as an extension of continuous integration, aiming at minimizing lead time, the time elapsed between development writing one new line of code and this new code being used by live users, in production. To achieve continuous deployment, the team relies on infrastructure that automates and instruments the various steps leading up to deployment, so that after each integration successfully meeting these release criteria, the live application is updated with new code.

Today’s DevOps teams have a lot of capabilities at their fingertips and are advancing these disciplines to realize the most common benefits:

  • Speed & Agility. Short time to market delights your customers with the latest features and functions. Business stakeholders seek the agility to meet market demands and compete for the customer’s attention.
  • Scope & Scale. Automation testing mitigates risks by testing every new iteration of your code, instead of testing once a day, or once a week. That limits the damage that can be done if something breaks. Testing incrementally also makes it easier to identify and remediate errors.
  • Governance & Quality. Fast changes, and lots of them, require organizational alignment. Automation, when designed correctly, facilitates communication and workflow across diverse teams. Automation eliminates — or at least vastly reduces — the opportunity for people to cause errors.

Continuous Feedback – For every step of this build-measure-learn cycle, you need feedback. Both from your customers or users, and from your team members, especially in an onsite offshore model and and it’s hard to plan pairing sessions due to different timezones.

Don’t ever economize on feedback and user input. Remember: this is where ‘the corporations’ fail, building stuff that people don’t need. Rather: select, build, measure, improve, and keep the pace!

Apart from these is a wide variety of continuous automation solutions for DevOps: continuous delivery, continuous deployment, continuous improvement, continuous integration, continuous monitoring, continuous testing, and more. Providing continuous delivery, continuous operations, and continuous services and having a client centric approach gets better and more towards – “everything”.

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