By Dick Stark
Last week RightStar presented an online eClass: DevOps 101, to an on-line audience. We covered the fundamental principles and best practices of DevOps and reviewed how organizations can benefit by utilizing these concepts within their own organizations. It was an excellent overview that concluded with a discussion of how the Atlassian toolset can get most of the way to DevOps. Here are some of the highlights.
Every industry is now software first. We reviewed the importance of software development in organizations like Starbucks, P&G, and General Motors (GM). Given that a car is really just a computer on wheels, auto manufacturers now have more software developers than large software companies. (And yes, GM is an Atlassian and RightStar customer.)
The way software teams work has changed. Competition means that software is now released on average every six weeks versus once a year, and companies like Netflix and Amazon make hundreds of releases daily. Agile development has skyrocketed and roles on a development team have come together to prioritize, scope, and support one another. According to an Atlassian survey, 77% of teams report using Agile methodologies and 78% have moved to a distributed version control system like Git. What’s next after Agile?
DevOps is a culture where dev and ops collaborate to build a faster, more reliable release pipeline. We quoted Werner Vogels, Amazon CTO: “You build it, you run it.” In a traditional scenario dev teams engineer a solution and then hand it over to ops to deal with production issues. A DevOps approach requires both dev and ops teams to come together to “run what they build,” means that work is a shared responsibility with greater transparency and accountability.
What is the best way to get started? We discussed a small software development company that RightStar just started working with. The organization develops websites for non-profits and faces challenges including more accurate time tracking, visibility into the current workload, capacity planning, standardization, consistent use of tools, and productivity.
So, RightStar proposed an assessment as the first step and we spent several days onsite better understanding their challenges and requirements. RightStar then delivered a report detailing their current environment, along with culture, process, and tool recommendations. We’re hopeful that the customer will continue using RightStar first for a week of Agile coaching, and then later, RightStar’s remote administration offering to help fine tune their Atlassian tools.
Another excellent way to gain a “live” understanding of DevOps is through simulation training. RightStar offers a half day DevOps simulation session that demonstrates the business value and positive impact of a DevOps approach. This role base simulation is highly realistic and leverages game dynamics to provide a vision of successful DevOps practices. RightStar has three sessions scheduled in the next 45 days. The first one is full and we’re optimistic that we will fill all the others.
I’m excited about the DevOps consulting progress RightStar is making already in 2018 and expect even more sales of advisory services, process improvements, and toolset implementations.