“We have an organization of feature crews—basically eight to 12 engineers who sit together in one room working on a similar area of the product, and in the next room is a team working on an adjacent feature in the product so you have a natural flow of discussion and camaraderie among the people who work on the same stuff,” said Microsoft’s Guckenheimer.
Everyone on those teams has a common set of metrics and a common dashboard with clickable views that are appropriate to different roles such as development and operations. And, instead of having different career paths for developers, testers and operations, there is now a single career path to take.
Agile and DevOps go hand-in-hand, though speeding up development and testing can only take an organization so far. To alleviate the problem, more companies are embracing DevOps so they can supplement continuous builds and testing with Continuous Delivery to enable end-to-end automated workflows.
Of course, not all organizations have adopted Continuous Delivery, and for good reasons. However, organizations that have already embraced Continuous Integration are tending to move toward Continuous Delivery to extend automation and collaboration to production and beyond. And similarly, organizations that have already embraced agile in some fashion are moving toward DevOps because it, too, is the next logical step.
“If you totally commit to agile and you see success, it’s hard to see things another way,” said Rod Cope, CTO of Rogue Wave. “With that mentality, you look at anything that can get in the way of high-quality, well-tested, ready-to-use code such as waiting for machines to be procured or waiting for manual tests or signoffs.”
Advantages agile organizations have over their less agile counterparts include a cross-functional way of working and broader adoption of automated solutions, both of which are required for DevOps and Continuous Delivery. Like agile, organizations can make the same mistakes they made with DevOps, such as embarking on one massive attempt to transform the organization when it is wiser to start with a small project that has all the right human and technological resources in place, as well as the requisite organizational support.
“The question is, is DevOps something you do or is [it] the culture you build?” said CloudBees’ Juengst. “In our view, it’s a culture you build.”
For years, teams embracing agile have been internally focused: getting rid of technical debt, structuring themselves more effectively, improving their scheduling and evolving their definition of “done” with the goal of producing potentially shippable code. DevOps goes a step further.
“At the time, they were not concerned with a potentially shippable increment getting shipped or deployed. The shift from agile to DevOps says it doesn’t count unless it’s used,” said Microsoft’s Guckenheimer. “You build it, you ship it, and you measure the usage. You need to make sure that your value is perceived as value in the customers’ eyes and that your improvements are always improvements for the customer.”