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The DevOps Culture in San Francisco

Date: 26 April 2016

DevOps is entering the mainstream, with companies clambering to integrate it into their business models. Unfortunately, numerous professionals misunderstand what DevOps is; many believe it to be a specific role, but DevOps is more accurately described as a culture of collaboration.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a cultural movement with the specific end goal of creating a culture and environment conducive to building, testing, and releasing software in a timely and reliable fashion.

DevOps encourages a symbiotic relationship between Development, Quality Assurance, and Operations. This culture of collaboration is not down to a single employee – a ‘DevOps person’ does not exist.

The impact of DevOps has increased over time. The term was first used in 2009, while the concept of an ‘agile infrastructure’ materialised a year earlier. In the current competitive and fast-paced IT environment, numerous programming languages, tools, and services are available to developers. They can use these to build new, innovative applications and software; for a business to remain agile however, these developers must also be capable of implementing new applications or software into the company and presenting them to customers.

A DevOps culture can help refine and modernise a company’s environment, whether that’s a start-up or a large enterprise. It enables businesses to respond better to changes and replaces traditional development and operations departments with collaborative teams of individuals.

DevOps culture explained

So what does the DevOps culture look like in practice? Businesses seeking to adopt this new agile way of working need to consider the following steps…

1. Focus on hiring generalists

Businesses need to hire individuals capable of recognizing issues holding a company back from being truly agile, and removing them. This should take precedence over candidates considered experts in a particular area. As technology continues to evolve over time, companies evolve with it, employees need to be able to stay agile and draw from general, rather than niche, experience.

Businesses need candidates who can work across different departments and understand the pain points of each, thus learning about the business as a whole and creating a collaborative culture that generates value.

2. Work toward continuous integration

New code releases can prove to be a stressful time for businesses. In a DevOps culture, rather than enduring numerous QA cycles and putting faith in untested code, new features and codes will have already been tested during the development process. This takes the concern out of new releases and allows developers to put forward code that has already undergone rigorous testing, giving them immediate and actionable feedback.

Code that has been tested prior to release will contain fewer errors and make the implementation process much easier. By automating the testing process, a business will empower its internal teams, instilling confidence and allowing them to release new services quickly, benefitting the user and the company.

3. Be sure to monitor progress continuously

Part of maintaining continuous integration involves being able to consistently monitor the release cycle of an application. This requires examining it from numerous angles: monitoring CPU and memory and I/O usage, along with page render times, network latency, and database calls, are all important metrics to track.

An application also needs to be monitored at business level – for example, tracking sign-ups, abandoned shopping carts, and failed log-in attempts to help detect problems in the system and fix issues quickly. Average response times, as opposed to the average time between failures, should become the key metric. By encouraging continuous monitoring, a company will ensure teams are confident in their ability to respond to problems quickly.

4. Deployment should be continuous, too

After continuous integration and monitoring, comes an ability to continuously deploy code. A DevOps culture encourages teams to recognize creators as also being implementers. This helps to create a culture of responsibility and also raises standards across all departments.

Exposing customers and real users to new code can help a business gather true insights into potential improvements and potholes. Implementing a continuous deployment strategy will highlight problems and allow a business to make improvements by releasing new features and responding to failures in a timely manner.

5. Work on being resilient

The final essential element of a successful DevOps culture is an ability to remain resilient in light of an emergency or application outage. Applications, codes, and software need to be built so that they can withstand any potential failures and do not impede on overall functionality.

With a continuous delivery pipeline in place, businesses are able to respond to failures and return to full functionality quickly. This is the ultimate benefit of a DevOps culture – an automated, high-quality business infrastructure built on collaboration.

Why Glocomms?

Creating an effective DevOps environment requires businesses to change how existing employees think about their individual roles, their teams, the business as a whole, and their customers.

Glocomms are the number one DevOps recruiter in the San Francisco Bay area right now. We are defining the culture for clients and candidates alike and can provide your business with the full DevOps life-cycle, this includes:

  • Finding the right people (DevOps Engineers and Directors)
  • Providing the right implementation process (connecting you with advisors who can recommend how to implement a DevOps Culture)

Our unique headhunting approach, networking capabilities, and ambition to go above and beyond when looking for the right candidates make us the perfect recruiter for this blossoming new area.

So if you’re thinking of implementing a DevOps culture into your business, or you need help understanding what it is and how it could benefit you, Glocomms can provide assistance, guidance, and leadership today. If you would like to learn how implementing DevOps into your team could benefit your business, get in touch.