People tend to focus a lot on tools or technology when they talk about IT problems and solutions, especially in DevOps. But typically, the people and their unique workflows are what warrant more examination, mostly because these human-led processes are harder (and more critical) to get right. While evaluating our tools and technologies is obviously essential to success, the reality is software developers can foster an improved DevOps mindset with just some basic practices.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed by DevOps struggles, such as unwieldy scanning tools and rapidly approaching deadlines, practitioners need to consider their own process when seeking increased efficacy and success. Of course, good code is key to building excellent software—but fostering a powerful and improved DevOps mindset is equally as important. These five practices will help get you there:
- Create a continuous loop of communication and feedback: This step includes communication with external customers, business teams, partners, internal stakeholders, and the like. Make sure changes are being made to the DevOps process for the right reasons, not just for the sake of change. The DevOps feedback looks should include code creation, test, delivery, deployment, and feedback to start the life cycle anew. Businesses can achieve this DevOps loop with CI/CD, which thrives on a continuous cycle of feedback. This takes coordination among teams throughout every step and ensures teams understand next steps and improvements. This type of feedback will help bridge the gap between the software’s purpose and overall expectations. It will also provide valuable insight into what developers can do to improve the build of software and how to enhance its functionality and reliability.
- Measure performance across the organization with metrics: With continuous feedback comes better performance in DevOps processes. Be sure to measure it! Gain clear oversight into the areas that need more attention—and measure your success with DevOps metrics, such as lead and deployment time, change volume, and availability. This step will allow you to evaluate just how fast you can move before you start breaking things. Even if you don’t track DevOps metrics around speed, you should always measure quality through overall security. No one wants to chase production fires all day. Tracking things like how many bug fixes are deployed will give you a better sense of your overall quality assurance and help you take actionable, meaningful steps to minimize any DevOps friction.
- Promote a culture of learning and collaboration: Learning is infectious. When you discover something new, share it with others. Adapting and evolving within a culture of learning offers natural mechanisms for teams to improve, pass along information, and generally excel. Our attitudes, methods, and processes can’t get better if we don’t do the work and share the insights we find. Learning doesn’t happen automatically. It takes effort, discipline, awareness, and especially communication, things tools and technologies can’t do for us. Review your DevOps processes and tool strategies, make them transparent to others, and collaborate with colleagues on how to deliver success.
As DevOps continues to develop and flourish, these three simple values will become increasingly important. Yes, these mindsets take time to adopt, implement, and mature, but they are worth it—for the good of DevOps and the future of excellent software.