In today’s tech-savvy world, it is essential to deliver high-quality applications and software with greater speed and agility. Businesses must adopt innovative methods and tools like DevOps to achieve agility and efficiency.
DevOps is a software development process that helps create high-performing apps more efficiently and quickly. Businesses across all industries must reimagine and adopt the DevOps process to gain a competitive advantage.
Delivering high-performance applications quickly and effectively has become a challenge for many development teams. It’s important to keep improving software products to meet customer needs.
DevOps is a new paradigm created to help organizations produce high-quality software more quickly. But still not fast.
How can you speed up app development? Optimize your DevOps environment.
This article will provide advice and tips from teams who have successfully accelerated development using DevOps. They’ve reduced their time-to-market and remain one step ahead by reimagining the delivery process and utilizing all of the available tools and technology.
What is DevOps?
DevOps, or Dev and Ops teams (Development and Operations), is a way to develop applications that allow them to work more effectively in developing and deploying apps.
This method is designed to reduce the time required for an organization from code release until deployment and automate manual processes.
DevOps also aims to identify possible delays in the software development process and technology implementation while offering solutions that reduce disruptions risk while improving product quality.
Feedback loops constantly refine DevOps. This helps teams produce better products quicker.
DevOps, or DevOps for short, is a rapid software delivery method that supports agile software development. It increases collaboration between Dev and Ops teams, speeds up deployment cycles, and allows enterprises to deliver high-quality applications quickly and accurately without compromising quality. Companies must not only collaborate between teams but also understand the DevOps tools and practices.
What is DevOps in Software Development?
DevOps is a revolutionary software development methodology. It combines DevOps practices with cultural philosophies and best-in-class tools. This combination helps an organization deliver high-quality software products faster than organizations that use traditional software development methods. The improved speed allows organizations to enhance the customer experience and remain competitive with the constantly changing market trends.
It is a culture shift that establishes communication and collaboration between two teams who intuitively and consciously collaborate to foster productivity and efficiency.
Simply put, the development and operations departments will work together throughout the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) to create high-quality products. During this process, your development and operations teams will benefit from the many tools and techniques your developers use.
DevOps is a culture and mindset that allows the operations team, for example, to have the same access as developers to GitHub and its content. This way, they can streamline the process and automate it.
The development team’s primary objective is to create a product that meets users’ needs. They are responsible for the following:
- Gathering resources
- Refining backlog of products
- Ensuring continuous delivery
The operation team, on the other hand, ensures that a product is deployed and managed throughout its entire lifecycle. Their responsibilities include:
- Deployment & Maintenance
- Manage security and backup
- Storage and server configuration management
- Renting server space
- Manage outages
Why Is DevOps Important?
DevOps requires a complete overhaul of corporate processes and structures, but the investment is worth it. According to the 2020 DevOps Trends Survey, 99% of respondents said that DevOps has positively impacted their organization.
DORA’s State of DevOps 2019 revealed that high-performing team releases 208 times more often and 106 times faster than low-performing teams. DevOps increases both quality and speed to market. High-performing teams have a seven times lower change failure rate than low-performing teams.
Boost Time to Market
Implementing and optimizing a DevOps process will help you get new software products and updates to market and create more software. DevOps allows you to get immediate feedback from the operations and development teams. This allows developers to make necessary adjustments quickly.
Advanced Levels of Automation
DevOps teams automate several central processes to accelerate the development cycle. Automation also eliminates manual labor for repetitive and time-consuming tasks, which allows developers to concentrate on new projects.
The development team is responsible for testing, deployment, and maintenance. DevOps enables developers to respond quickly to business and market requirements. As a developer, you may be a part of the building, implementation, and monitoring process to deliver real-time services to customers. You can also respond quickly when an update, bug fix, or change is needed.
DevOps methodologies is responsible for coordinating efforts between numerous teams. This benefits the organization as well as the team members. Collaboration often brings new ideas and perspectives to the table while creating a harmonious working environment between both teams.
What Factors Support Software Development Speed?
A few factors are important in the software development process:
- The development process is complex.
- Code quality at a high level
- The team size
Let’s discuss them one by one.
The Complexity of the Development Process
Every developer faces different challenges while working on a particular project. These challenges can include:
- The technical aspects, such as architecture and integration with third parties.
- Project Specifications (ambiguous Goals and Objectives);
- Unrealistic deadlines. For example, an estimation of the project’s timeline differs from the work scope.
- There may be structural problems and internal issues within the company.
The difficulty of producing software is exacerbated by managing multiple complexities simultaneously. The longer it takes to develop software, the more problems there are.
It takes time to develop a high-quality application, whether perfect or quick. The need for super-short deadlines will never disappear. If the code quality is compromised, the project duration will increase. It will still take more time and effort to fix the error.
Size of the Team
Every project’s success depends on effective internal communication. It becomes harder to find common ground when the team has more than seven members. The most productive team is one of five or fewer people. It is better to divide the developers into smaller teams when working on a large project.
Each member influences the performance of a team. Team members who are motivated and experienced will complete the task faster. This does not mean that you should ignore less-skilled programmers. These developers will eventually become the most valuable assets in your organization. It will take some time to get them on board and help them grow.
In a DevOps development pipeline, software applications go through five stages:
- Continuous Development
- Continuous Testing
- Continuous Integration
- Continuous Delivery
- Continuous Monitoring
DevOps, as a cultural shift, promotes collaboration among development, quality assurance, and operations. Therefore, no single tool can be considered the definitive DevOps product. Sometimes, a combination of tools from different vendors is used at one or more stages in the DevOps Toolchain. DevOps toolchains vary by organization. They are based on the tools that have been implemented, the skills of the developers and testers, and the type of applications being deployed.
Here’s a list of the most popular DevOps Tools and how they are used at each stage.
Continuous development with Jira
Its powerful collaborative features visually highlight issues throughout the project workflow. This makes Jira easy to use when planning development, tracking work daily, and reporting project progress.
Continuous testing with Zephyr for Jira
Many DevOps Teams use Jira Software for Test Case Management. This allows the development and testing teams to work together on one system. Zephyr for Jira has the same look and feel as Jira. Test issues can also be created, tracked, and reported like other Jira issues.
Continuous integration with Jenkins
Jenkins is a server for CI/CD that automatically runs tests every time a developer uploads new code to the repository. CI detects errors early in development, so they are usually smaller, simpler, and easier to fix. Jenkins was originally designed as a tool to automate the build of Java applications. It has evolved into a multifaceted platform that includes more than a thousand plugins for other software. Jenkins’ rich ecosystem of plugins allows it to be used for building, deploying, and automating almost any software project, regardless of computer language, database, or version control system.
Continuous delivery/deployment using Puppet or chef
Puppet and Chef are configuration tools that automate the process of configuring servers. This helps avoid “snowflake” servers in your deployment/delivery environment. “Snowflake Servers” are production servers continuously reconfigured over time. This may include kernel patches, operating system upgrades, and updates. The result is a unique server, similar to a snowflake. This requires manual configuration in addition to automated deployment scripts.
Using definition files to describe configurations of server elements (recipes in Chef or manifests in Puppet) is a best practice for Infrastructure as Code. This allows environments (machines and network devices, operating systems, middleware, etc.) to be configured. Configuration and specification can be done in an automated format rather than using interactive configuration tools or physical hardware configuration.
Continuous monitoring with Splunk Elk
Spunk and Elk both provide log monitoring tools. They allow you to analyze data on the transactions in your IT engineering services applications after they have been deployed to ensure consistent performance, availability, security, and user experience. Splunk and ELK both provide a scalable method to index log files and an interface allowing users to interact with data to create visualizations like reports, dashboards, or alerts.
Splunk charges based on the volume of transactions. The ELK Stack is a set of three open-source products–Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana–all developed and maintained by Elastic.
DevOps Best Practices
We will discuss some DevOps practices widely applicable in DevOps consulting companies and can improve their productivity.
- Prioritize customer satisfaction
- Participants of active stakeholders
- Agile Methodologies: Use them to your advantage
- Implement Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD).
- Automate Test Automation
- Monitoring the Right Metrics
- Integrated Change Management
- Microservices: Switch to them
- Automated Dashboards
- Create a collaborative culture
It is important to meet the customer’s expectations, whether using a traditional waterfall model or DevOps.
Modern SaaS clients demand constant upgrades and rapid delivery, for example. DevOps provides the ability to streamline release processes. DevOps makes it easier to deliver new features to customers because the same people are responsible for managing releases and creating new code.
Participation by Active Stakeholders
DevOps relies on the concept that designers, operators, and support staff must always work together closely. It is recommended that they work effectively together and recognize the difference between them as a key stakeholder. The “onsite customer” practice, a welcome addition to Extreme Programming’s (XP) methodology, empowers engineers with the talent to work directly and effectively with business.
Disciplined software developers go one step further by involving dynamic stakeholders. This means they should work closely with most partners, such as operations and support staff, instead of just business partners. It’s a two-way road: support and operations employees should also be keen to collaborate with developers.
Use Agile Methodologies
Agile project management is the first step to implementing DevOps. Agile techniques allow teams to divide their work into smaller pieces. This allows them to offer small but incremental improvements, which is the foundation for DevOp’s continuous deployment strategy.
Agile teams are flexible and adaptable to changes in requirements at any stage of the development process. They can handle unexpected work and respond quickly to the comments of the operations team.
Agile and DevOps share a similar culture. Both embrace change and place a high priority on the business value of software products. DevOps extends Agile to the entire operations team, not just the development team.
Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)
CI allows developers to integrate code updates regularly and test the code with automated tools.
Continuous integration is achieved by using a source code versioning system. Continuous integration is a way to find and fix bugs earlier in the development process, improve code quality, and speed up deployment.
As teams improve the process, they will naturally increase their frequency. Early bugs found in the development process can help prevent bigger problems later. Over time, this reduces the technical debt.
Software testing is a must if you want to create good code. DevOps allows developers to solve problems that arise during development. The last-minute rush is no longer necessary.
Manual testing takes a lot of time. Implementing test automation within a DevOps Framework is smart to accelerate the SDLC. Automated tests eliminate the need for testers to repeat routine operations. They can spend much time creating new test cases and working with developers to prevent issues.
Agile is known for its automated testing because it is built on test-driven development. Automation allows for more frequent testing and more tests. This improves product quality by encouraging early bug fixes.
Many automation technologies are available, and the testing team will be able to select one that best suits their needs.
Monitor the Right Metrics
Continuous performance monitoring is a DevOps practice. DevOps can only be evaluated by tracking relevant performance metrics such as lead times, mean time to discover, and issue severity.
These metrics are crucial because they allow you to identify problems early and respond quickly. Your company’s goals and expectations will determine the DevOps metrics that you track. Some metrics, like unit cost, are related to profitability and relevant for any DevOps in software engineering team.
It is a good idea to monitor unit costs as a DevOps metric because it helps develop cost-effective software from the beginning. You can plan and make better decisions because you know your cost estimates.
Integrated Change Management
Change management demonstrates that the IT framework will be developed in a productive and significant way to support the entire business. In the task group, this is a reasonable doubt. A single solution may be developed using different versions and developments of the same technology.
DevOps can bring enterprise-level challenges, making it more difficult to develop an integrated strategy for change management. This is because several solutions must work together and at the same.
The development team and the operations team need to work closely together to understand the implications of any changes made at the organizational level. This process involves active stakeholder involvement, coordinated configuration management, and automated testing.
Monitoring has become more complex as the industry evolved from monolithic on-premises systems and applications towards cloud-native microservice-based solutions. Observability has become increasingly popular. The three pillars that makeup observability can be referred to by different names, such as logs and traces.
Most system components and DevOps apps produce logs. They contain data based on time series. Traces can be used to trace the logic flow of an application. Other metrics include CPU/RAM utilization, storage space, network connectivity, and disk usage.
How can you Speed Up Software Development?
It is impossible to know how long a project will take. The length of time depends on several factors, such as the complexity of the software.
Establish Clear Guidelines
It is important to set clear expectations. This strategy is often overlooked. The software development process must be completed within a specific time frame. Set a smart target and communicate it to each team member. This allows us to accelerate software development per our client’s expectations.
Provide product discovery services as the first step in the software development cycle. Deliverables include a detailed project plan with step-by-step instructions, specifications, prototypes, and other requirements for timely and smooth product development. You and your team will be able to share the goals and scope of the project.
Developers will be better prepared to deal with the complexities and potential risks of the project and avoid any delays.
A second way to speed up the product development process is by starting small and progressing through several stages or iterations. We recommend creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first before diving into the end-to-end development of a product. Many feature ideas could be a failure immediately.
Developing the minimum functionality first is also easier, faster, and more reasonable.
Avoid including top-notch features in the MVP unless they’re integral to the final goal. Build it and release it as quickly as possible. Based on feedback from focus groups and business analyses, continue developing in the chosen direction.
The planning process is also relevant to the work we do every day. Too many tasks running at once can overwhelm developers. Managers recommend limiting the amount of work that is in progress. Set the maximum and minimum amount of work at each stage in your workflow.
Expansion of the team is a popular way to speed up software development. It is a given that having more team members will result in less work per member. It allows you to focus on the task and the time.
Avoid assembling large teams. Split large teams into smaller groups to work independently on different project components. Generally, teams of 3-7 members are considered optimal and more productive than larger groups.
The right ratio of front-end and back-end developers is important, as are the QA staff, developers, and senior developers. Junior developers and regular developers must also have the required competencies.
The team could end up debating endlessly about which approach or solution to use if the majority are senior developers. A team primarily made up of junior developers may not be as productive as a group composed of senior developers, as they will lack the necessary skills to resolve issues and experience overcoming challenges.
The optimal team composition for six developers is two seniors, two regulars, and two juniors. You can be sure that the team will receive tasks of varying difficulty. Others will be easy for junior developers, while others may be difficult for senior developers. Seniors can enjoy practicing and improving their skills while others can receive assistance and learn. Morale is likely to increase for the team.
Use Agile Development to meet your needs.
Agile environments customize processes according to the complexity of a project. Agile is about developing the fastest prototype, which leads to more development. Agile aims to deliver products on time.
Reduce the amount of work in progress.
Find a way to manage projects to reduce the amount of work in progress. Teams tend to be slowed down by high workloads. Limit the number of tasks assigned at a time to eliminate pending work.
Developers often ask the question of speeding up software development. Few people consider speed improvement methods. Instead of counting the lines of code, keep track of the number of tasks you complete each day.
Shift-left testing is one of the most effective strategies for speeding software development. Developers conduct this test in the initial phases of the SDLC. This helps identify bugs and other issues as early as possible. Testing in the early phases increases development speed.
Managing scope changes
The most effective strategy for project management is to avoid frequent scope changes. To help your team work faster, define a clear scope for the project. Modifying the scope can make things more complex.
Shortens Working Hours
IT professionals know that working shorter days saves time and is more productive than working 12-hour days. Software development is a process that requires creativity, so developers need to take regular breaks. As employees are more efficient, shorter working hours result in faster product delivery.
Outsourcing Software Development
Outsourcing to offshore companies is another popular technique for speeding up software development. They release the software on time. They also identify the processes that need to be added or removed to increase speed.
Measures to improve
Only those things we can measure can be improved. It’s crucial to know where you are before trying to improve the design of your website or app, increase your team size, or accelerate your software development cycle.
Use specific criteria and analyze data to evaluate your current situation. After implementing best practices, set your goals and compare the results to what you expected.
Many developers and project managers measure performance by the number of lines of code.
Team velocity is a way we use to measure the speed of software development more agilely. Performance, another related metric, is concerned with speeding up the work. At the same time, velocity is more about delivering value without sacrificing quality. It measures the overall productivity and performance of the team based on how many features or user stories are delivered in a certain period.
Test early and often.
The SDLC should be a continuous process of quality assurance. Our customers are often surprised to learn that testing begins before or along with programming. The QA staff must describe test cases, create documentation, and more.
Adding new features will become more difficult at some point because fixing bugs and locating them will take up most of your team’s time. This can be avoided by automating testing. It will catch major bugs earlier in the SDLC and before they are discovered manually.
It is important to plan and execute this from the beginning. After your product has been built, it can be very time-consuming to catch up with and cover it in automated tests.
Select Continuous Integration and Deployment
Ask your team if they are using CI/CD. Continuous Integration (CI) refers to the practice of every developer merging (integrating) code changes in a shared repository at least once daily or weekly. Each check-in will be verified by an automated build, which allows early detection of problems.
The goal is to integrate and build the software at least as often as you check in your code. CI enables automatic testing and separates software builds from deployments.
Select a partner or a team that uses agile methodologies
Agile methodologies are available in many different forms. However, the goal remains the same: to integrate rapid feedback and iterations with continuous planning, integration, and testing for the continual evolution of a project and software. Agile has helped us to improve our development process by adding flexibility, speed, and quality.
Delivering working software as quickly as possible is important by using short, recurring development cycles. In Scrum, for example, a sprint is a two-week development cycle in which a team concentrates on delivering a set of deliverables. This allows for flexibility and adaptability as priorities change from sprint to sprint.
Lean development means focusing on users’ needs and minimizing time and resource consumption. Your team can move more quickly and efficiently by building software in small steps, getting user feedback early, and making the necessary adjustments.
More tips for speeding up software development:
- Reducing meetings is one way to do this. For example, team meetings are time-consuming, and often the discussion of items that don’t contribute value to a project ends up being a waste. Email or messaging can handle many topics.
- It should be accelerated by eliminating dependencies such as those that rely on other teams, implementation applications, or services.
- The best way to plan product backlogs is to do so for the upcoming weeks or sprints. The PO can prepare new features ahead of time or speak to stakeholders for feedback.
DevOps is integral to software development, especially in today’s ever-changing technology world. It will improve your development process’s efficiency, smoothness, and rewards.
It increases speed, collaboration, and safety. It has all the tools necessary to create software and applications. DevOps can help you to save money, accelerate software development and reduce time.
The speed of software development directly affects the release date, costs, and chances of success.
Agile software development and DevOps can accelerate software development and positively impact other factors. Plan strategically but start small. Document product requirements but be ready to change them. Communication is key. Monitor and optimize processes and communicate regularly.
DevOps, or DevOperations, is a new approach to organizing work, merging teams, and developing a team-oriented approach toward product development operations. DevOps is also useful for organizing and completing tasks on time. It’s cost-effective, faster, and less time-consuming.