Getting DevOps right

One of the key findings of GitLab’s 2018 Global Developer Report is that “organizations that have adopted DevOps are more likely to deploy on demand and prioritize automation than those practicing Agile.” No longer a “nice to have” to improve workflow for developers and software professionals, DevOps is increasingly a must. In GitLab's poll of over 5,200 developers, CTOs and IT professionals, two-thirds called DevOps a “tremendous time saver” in the development process. Close to 30% plan to invest in DevOps for 2018.

In a survey conducted by New Relic last year, a high adoption of the DevOps “mindset” resulted in much higher satisfaction levels around key metrics like communication between teams. In fact, when asked which area of their organization was most improved after adopting DevOps, 23% to 57% of respondents answered communication. “Effective communication within teams fosters good working relationships and a more creative culture which, therefore, is a key basis for DevOps success,” says Eveline Oehrlich, Director of Market Strategy: EMEA at New Relic.


Making the mind-shift

Getting DevOps right, though, is tricky, and use of agile and DevOps is not mutually exclusive; they can work well together. Chip Childers, CTO of Cloud Foundry Foundation, stresses that, ultimately, you cannot buy DevOps. “It’s not something that is a tool or a product, even with plenty of companies trying to sell it to you. DevOps is about a cultural shift, and it requires implementing the technologies, tools and products that are actually a fit, in the context of that culture, between new processes and existing systems.”

For Mark Pundsack, head of Product at GitLab, culture can be a roadblock to successful deployment of DevOps, but it is vital to get right. “It’s hard to get Dev and Ops to work harmoniously in a cross-functional way. And, that issue can be compounded by tooling. Disjointed toolchains lead to disconnected processes and barriers to communication that get in the way of working together – the crux of DevOps,” he says.

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Bianca Wright

Bianca Wright is a UK-based freelance business and technology writer, who has written for publications in the UK, the US, Australia and South Africa. She holds an MPhil in science and technology journalism and a DPhil in Media Studies.

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