Building a DevOps Army | TechWell

Building a DevOps Army

Green plastic army soldier figures

As you scale DevOps, you need more team members who understand the fundamentals. You could bring in external folks, but they're expensive and in short supply, so start building your DevOps army now by training existing employees.

Here's what each role needs to know.

Testers and QA professionals

One key enabler of DevOps is feedback, and test automation is integral to assessing your software's health. The only way to move quickly and not break things is to have suites of automated tests that prove the software still works and still implements requirements.

Your test professionals need to learn how automated tests fit into multiple levels, including at the service, UI, and database layers. They also need to learn how test automation works with the build pipeline and what passing or not passing those tests means to the health of your software.

Train testers in the software development method you plan on using in your DevOps process and in how to write user stories. This way, they can write requirements while working with the product owner to ensure that the requirements fit the business and have sufficient acceptance criteria. 

Developers

DevOps adds to the feedback cycles developers learned from agile practices, including build automation, continuous integration, code analysis, and unit testing.

Then there’s continuous delivery, or automatically deploying to an environment with a test suite to evaluate the software in the environment; continuous deployment, pushing a new release into production based on passing all tests; and checking code and software quality in the build pipeline. 

Developers must learn how to leverage the build pipeline to get feedback on the health of their software, changing their code and coding practices to take advantage of that feedback.

By understanding your value stream and where you have delays, your team can focus on automating those processes and practices, using time more efficiently, and finding where they're not leveraging work outputs so they can eliminate them.

Train developers in DevOps and agile engineering practices so they can fully leverage the feedback cycles that a move to DevOps will make available. 

IT operations

IT ops is the last line of defense for production software. In traditional software development models, it’s often only considered right before the software is about to go into production.

One of the goals of DevOps is to bring ops into the product conversation from the beginning. IT operations should help create the requirements needed to launch healthy, functional software, including things that will allow the software to be monitored and tweaked once it's in production. 

IT ops should learn how to get involved earlier and how their input will help make the software more reliable and maintainable in production. They also must learn how to create infrastructure as code to leverage the same provisioning, deployment, and configuration processes throughout the entire product development lifecycle. 

Once IT ops team members understand the foundations of DevOps, train them in the tools your organization will use to automate builds, provisioning, and deployments.

Get started

Creating DevOps expertise within your organization starts with training your team on the basics of DevOps. Begin with metrics, upskill your staff, and ground the team in what it means to have a DevOps culture.

Tom Stiehm is instructing the Foundations of DevOps training class at the completely virtual STAREAST conference, May 4–7, 2020.

This story was originally published on TechBeacon.

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