What Is DevOps Culture?

DevOps branches are good for diversity. Adapt DevOps to your context or you might not survive.

Patrick Debois, Father of DevOps.

DevOps is no longer a new term for the IT world. The above statement is ample to show its versatility and necessity. The collaboration of the Development team ‘Dev’ and Operations team ‘Ops’, in order to bridge the gap between both the teams for implementation and execution of software, gave rise to “DevOps”.

A combination of cultural principles, practices, and tools that improves an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services quickly, is actually what DevOps is. This results in evolving and modifying products quicker than the organizations that use traditional methods of software development and infrastructure management process. When the desired speed of product delivery is achieved, this enables a company to serve its customers better and compete more efficiently in the market. This explains why companies rely on professionals who take DevOps online training and help with organization goals.

DevOps is not a team or a tool. It is a methodology that is adapted for using various tools to solve the problems that arise between developers and the operations team, hence bridging the gap between them. With DevOps, you don’t need to wait to deploy and test the code. Eventually, the developer gets instant feedback on the code, so that needful action is done and the software is ready to release soon.

Considered as Software Development Life Cycle or SDLC methodology, DevOps is designed to accelerate the cycle of product release, reduce waste process, and brush up end-user experience with every release iteration. Besides tooling and processes that boost DevOps, the methodology of SDLC also focuses on the culture, the user, and their mindset.

You have read about what DevOps is. Now let us see what DevOps culture is.

DevOps Culture:

DevOps culture focuses on small, multidisciplinary teams. They work autonomously and in collaboration with each other, taking collective responsibility for how their end-users experience their software. There is no production for a DevOps team. All they need to do is strive hard to make the customer’s live experience better.

The teams of DevOps carry out agile practices and include operations in the responsibility of the team. The team is divided into small batches, all of them focus on the improvement of end-to-end delivery of customer value while eliminating wastes and other obstructions coming along the way. Since the teams are collectively responsible for product quality, and quick deliveries through collaborative efforts, automation, and responses, there is no blame game among them.

For attaining this, the silos are eliminated across the departments and let teams operate mutually. This requires the adoption of governance policies and measures in order to ease autonomy and SDLC processes that are automation-driven.

DevOps ensures that there is continuous improvement through mutual efforts of various contributing teams and candidates all round the SDLC pipeline. When the cultural change is not adopted, even if the techniques and processes work as per the desired workflow, the teams may still face conflicts. This usually results in losing control over the actual pace of DevOps. This scenario is evident when the teams work for different goals, as in, QA team might work for the improvement of quality and stability of every iteration, while the Development team might wish to deploy new features in their product in response to customer feedback or market demands.

On the other hand, with the DevOps mindset, the beliefs are put straightforward, presume impacts to make results better, and implement the presumption as an experiment. Monitoring and telemetry are used by DevOps teams to keep a check on production and gather results in real-time. If there is a mismatch in hypotheses and evidence, the experiment fails.

And if the evidence supports hypotheses, the experiment is successful and the opportunity perseveres and the actions are taken to improve the results.

When a company transitions to DevOps, the teams relocate their focus, and instead of concentrating on mean time between failure (MTBF), they strive to optimize mean time to mitigate (MTTM), and also mean time to remediate or MTTR.

This strategy facilitates DevOps teams to deploy various feature releases quickly, understand the impact and react soon in order to minimize or eliminate potent failures.

However, there are some software issues that are difficult to eliminate and the efforts made to remove them can slow down the pace of the release cycle.

There is a difference between the collaboration part of DevOps and the traditional SDLC methods too. Since DevOps teams share common goals, there are no silos and they focus on reducing bottlenecks within collaborating teams with the help of effective automation. On the other hand, traditional SDLC methodology involves siloed teams where they focus on their roles, hence increasing the product release time.

DevOps teams reduce the communication time between the team members with the usage of cloud and automation. With the help of automation and server configuration, Devs, Ops, and QA teams clearly understand the execution of every build iteration, the way servers are configured, minimizing human errors, and delays caused due to time wasted in interaction.

To develop a genuine DevOps culture, the teams at the workplace require to specify responsibilities, find out and adopt proactive measures to reduce issues that arise due to workplace culture and redesigning cultural performance on a sustained retrospective analysis.

Instead of focusing on roles, the DevOps team thinks of competencies. They share the responsibility for the execution of live sites, while including both developmental and operation skills and awareness. These teams need to follow various phases of growth.

The candidates or developers of the team are accountable for the condition of the running services and will rotate the iteration on-call.

The principle behind DevOps culture is, “if you build it, you run it.” You need to trust each other and be transparent, accept failures, and share the responsibilities, to carry out the cultural shift.

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