In my last post for Wall Street & Technology, we discussed some of the chief questions around security in the cloud. Another interesting discussion that the move to the cloud brings is around the challenges and opportunities it is creating in the software development world.
Previously, the pace of product development could be bottlenecked by operations because the build, certify, and delivery environments couldn’t support a rapid pace of change. Now, however, developing for the cloud has introduced the ability to rapidly create scalable and flexible environments through the implementation of continuous integration and delivery pipelines.
Cloud computing has opened the doors not just for IT departments, but software developers, who are tasked with developing new workable functionalities and products and getting them into production as quickly as possible. The agile software development methodology, which most developers have adopted in conjunction with cloud computing, had defined the path for DevOps.
DevOps is the marriage of “development” and “operations.” The DevOps movement aims to integrate software development and IT operations to deliver better software and products, much faster than with previous delivery methods.
DevOps is the latest trend to take the tech industry by storm, but has actually been floating around software development circles for some time. Instead of working in silos, the development team (those responsible for creating the product) and the operations team (those responsible for service delivery and keeping systems running) collaborate and communicate throughout the entire product lifecycle, from innovation to deployment to implementation.
A new mindset
One reason DevOps has recently been gaining momentum is an attitude shift across the software industry to operate in real time -- a mindset referred to as continuous delivery. Pressure from clients is mounting for businesses to increase the frequency of new enhancements and features. Furthermore, developers are expected to deliver quality code on a shorter release cycle. However, speeding up the software cycle without compromising quality requires a shift in thinking -- namely, the ability to respond to feedback and react more quickly.
While continuous delivery and DevOps are not one and the same, DevOps feeds into the continuous delivery mentality of reducing inefficiencies and risks and creating a delivery pipeline that takes into account both software build and infrastructure. Especially for larger companies, like Advent, DevOps plays a key role in streamlining the delivery of working software, although this methodology has a place at lean startups as well.
At Advent, we adopted the DevOps approach about 18 months ago as we began development on our new cloud-based platform Advent Direct. We knew we couldn’t solely focus on automating the development piece; we also needed to automate the roll out and feedback process. With a full pipeline of code, it was imperative that our developers kept our production teams abreast of their progress and goals. In addition, it was important that the production teams relayed constant feedback to our developers, in order to maximize efficiency and seamlessly move from concept to production to deployment.
I’m looking forward to seeing how DevOps methodologies evolve in the coming months, and I’m curious to hear from the rest of the Wall Street & Technology community. What are your best-practices in DevOps?Todd is EVP and CTO at Advent Software. He sets the company's long-term technology and solution vision. It's his job to make sure our solutions incorporate the best technology innovations to meet our clients' needs and are easy to adopt, own and use. Before taking ... View Full Bio