Five ways to enhance your DevOps workflow in 2022
DevOps is becoming a vital part of the process and culture of evolving technology companies, and it’s easy to understand why – DevOps is all about breaking organizational silos between the development and operations teams, putting it at the heart of the process.
According to the 2021 DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) survey by Google, elite DevOps teams deploy code 973 times more frequently than low performers. They also have a 6570 x faster lead time from commit to deploy than low performers. This showcases the importance of setting up your DevOps teams correctly to ensure they perform to their best abilities.
However, implementing a successful DevOps workflow is not as easy as investing in emerging software and training employees to use it. It is a journey that involves two or more teams and requires constant improvement, innovation, and re-iteration.
Here are five ways you can improve the DevOps workflow in your company.
1. Enhance your regression testing
Regression testing is done to verify that a code change in the software does not impact the existing functionality of the product. This ensures that the product works well and according to expectations with the new functionality and does not require any bug fixes or changes to the existing features.
When doing regression testing, you’re constantly executing and re-executing test cases to verify and minimize the impact of the change. According to DORA, the “elite performers who meet their reliability targets are 3.7 times more likely to leverage continuous testing. By incorporating early and frequent testing throughout the delivery process, with testers working alongside developers throughout, teams can iterate and make changes to their product, service, or application more quickly.”
Regression testing is essential because it helps DevOps engineers maintain a top-level view of the project and decrease the dependency on chains that prevent forward progress until a step is completed. Sales, finance, or customer operations might affect this, but this interference can be clearly documented along with its associated risks on speed and quality.
Prioritizing your regression testing is one way to improve your operation, and that is done by aligning the quality of the project with how critical the application is. Each type of application is associated with different levels of risk, and sometimes the release is pushed back to deliver the function.
Automating regression testing is another way to tell if your process needs tweaking because many defects come up once the project is released to quality assurance. This puts developers in the hot seat, forcing them to choose between bug fixes and developing new software to bypass the bottleneck. If the project is automated with priorities in mind, both internal and external, developers can spend a fraction of the time on defects and more on solving real issues and project re-iteration.
2. Strive for continuous development CD
A smart DevOps engineer knows that continuous improvement based on existing resources is key to enhancing the CI/CD pipeline. To do this, we must first understand what it takes to set up a functional CI/CD pipeline.
A CI/CD pipeline stands for the Continuous Integration and Delivery of developer code. It is an interchangeable process that involves building, testing, and merging developers’ various code changes in a shared repository, followed by its Continuous Deployment (or Continuous Delivery) to the software pipeline. This process automates how new code moves into production and is the backbone of the DevOps workflow for leaders looking to enhance their overall development process.
One way is to apply user telemetry information, which gives developers some insight into how culture and language can be factored into software development. You can also use application performance management to improve development by applying user-synthetic scripts, or “dummy users,” to test functional aspects similarly to how it’s done in a real user world. This method helps developers find problems before the system goes live and helps them find out if it is a single point of failure or if the problem is more widespread.
3. Work to your team’s strengths
Working to the individual strengths of your team members is a key factor in the overall improvement of your project, as opposed to adjusting your plan or process, based on the urgency of a situation.
Is one of your software developers more detail-oriented? Placing them at an earlier point in the pipeline would benefit the whole team. Is your team leader more sensitive to feedback? Giving them a project management role might play better to their strengths and leave room for someone more resilient to lead the team.
A dysfunctional development process is only as mundane as its users. That’s why it’s hard to climb up the DevOps ladder to senior positions – it takes a powerful combination of technical and soft skills to lead the DevOps operation successfully.
4. Pay Attention to Your Key Metrics
One of the best things about monitoring a DevOps workflow is that improving it is tangible – there are key objectives, identifiers, and solid metrics.
Some of the highest performing organizations share these benchmarks:
- Deployment Frequency: This metric tracks how often you deploy code to production or release it to the end-user.
- Lead Time for Changes: This metric tracks how long it takes to go from code committed to code that is successfully running in an application.
- Time to Restore Service: This metric tracks how long it takes to restore a service when an incident or defect occurs, such as an unplanned outage or service impairment.
- Change Failure Rate: This metric tracks the percentage of changes to production that resulted in a degraded service that requires remediation, such as a hotfix, a rollback, or a patch.
- Risk and Error Budgets: This metric helps you know the amount of headroom you have above your SLA.
- Toil and Toil Budgets: This metric measures the work tied to running a production service that tends to be manual, repetitive, automatable.
If these metrics are monitored and constantly tweaked, real change is felt throughout the DevOps process.
5. Communicate your vision
A shared vision is key to a successful DevOps operation. It doesn’t matter how much planning goes into the process if you’re not sharing your vision with the people responsible for bringing it to life.
It’s one thing to focus on a DevOps-ready platform and another thing to prioritize people over the process when leading your team. Just as DevOps requires critical evaluation of traditional tools, practices, and philosophies, the same level of commitment should be shown to building a solid team that does an excellent job of thinking differently together despite conflicting priorities.
According to an article by UpGuard, 63% of companies that implement DevOps release new software more frequently, which shows how you set up your DevOps workflow affects how much you benefit from it. Effectively utilizing DevOps can also lead to 96x faster recovery from failures as well as 440x faster lead time for changes.
To build those teams, you must first create a culture-first environment. This can mean addressing conflicting priorities between development and operations as they arise and building a team with the right skill set to complement each other where it counts. This leads to an operating model with governance and quality.
It has become the norm for companies to work from multiple locations and with various service partners in today’s world. This has highlighted further the importance of DevOps. When working with a service partner, it’s essential to ensure that they understand and use DevOps regularly in their work. This will lead to immediate operational improvements.
If you have any questions, inquiries, or would like to extend your in-house skills with our DevOps experts, please don’t hesitate to schedule a call now with one of our technical managers.
- Mirette Osama | Senior Copywriter
- Mohamed Mekawy | Senior DevOps Engineer [LinkedIn]