Why you should consider DevOps for your business and how to build a successful DevOps team
A strong DevOps team is essential for any company who plans to compete seriously within the software market. This kind of investment will mean better processes, happier employees and robust systems. But in order to cultivate a successful team, businesses must first understand what an efficient DevOps team looks like, and how to go about building one.
Why are efficient DevOps teams important?
There are multiple reasons why an efficient DevOps team is important, one of them being that they can speed up development and release of code by streamlining and automating common processes. They can also focus fully on sturdy infrastructure without having to worry about the application code itself. If your software developers were trying to manage these tasks beforehand, building a strong DevOps team will lift the weight from their shoulders and give them space to excel in what they can do best. Your teams won’t only be faster, but they’ll be happier too.
The coronavirus pandemic drove home the importance of robust systems. Suddenly there was a meteoric rise in daily internet usage and businesses were seeing traffic like never before. Take Zoom as an example: They would not have been able to handle the increased pressure of the huge spike in usage and continue to output features without the expertise of DevOps professionals, who know how to architect robust infrastructure and deployment pipelines.
DevOps teams can also help your business to better test your code. They can spin up development environments and sandboxes. They can architect scenarios whereby your application will be subject to all manner of situations. These processes can make your business more confident that your product will survive in the real world.
What does an efficient DevOps team look like?
Efficient DevOps teams facilitates good product development. They design and maintain the processes by which code gets out into the world. Efficiency is achieved by working with the development team to make this process flow smoothly. Communication is key, and it is easy to fail when there are too many lines drawn between teams. Instead, developers and DevOps professionals should strive to understand each other’s roles and workload, within a culture where they know that the best results can only be achieved by working closely together.
An efficient DevOps team also understands the importance of intelligent automation, such as the representation of infrastructure as code. They may use technologies such as Docker and Jenkins to build Continuous Integration pipelines which can speed up feature development and release. Additionally, they will recognise that not all processes should be automated, and that setting priorities is important to meet deadlines and budget restrictions. The vast majority of commercial projects operate within a strict time frame, so these skills are essential to avoid unwanted costs or disappointed clients.
How is an efficient DevOps team built?
Culture is key when building an efficient DevOps team. With the right environment, any individual can excel, and thus any team can excel. But culture can’t be created overnight, and it’s up to business leaders to put the effort in to make it happen.
An important aspect is to ensure your DevOps team has access to the right tools and training. They should be familiar with technologies like Docker, AWS and Kubernetes, but mastery of these takes time, and businesses need to give teams space to learn. Technology evolves rapidly, and even the most experienced professional must keep abreast of the trends.
It’s of great significance that strong relationships are cultivated. Businesses must show trust towards their teams by delegating responsibility, avoiding micromanagement and dismantling bureaucratic barriers. Inter-team interaction and collaboration should be encouraged, but with all parties on equal footing. For any team to be effective, they need to be able to put forward their opinions and be listened to with respect.
Leaders should also recognise that failure happens. If they come down too hard on their teams when they struggle, it can cause tension or resentment. Those organisations who understand this and create space for failure will foster real growth in their teams. This does not mean that there should be no responsibility, but rather that individuals and teams are able to reason through their own mistakes. This process of rationalising adversity is what creates progress, but it’s impossible to work properly when living in fear of retribution.
The Coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated just how important an efficient DevOps team is. If a business is to survive in those tense times when their presence is the most important, they must invest in those engineers who can ensure the strength of their infrastructure and release process. But companies need to understand that building an efficient DevOps team is an exercise in patience and in trust, and leaders must be willing to avoid micromanagement, invest in proper training and sufficiently compensate their engineers. If this can be done, they will find themselves prepared for any eventuality.
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