It's the Ranger4 #DevOpsFriday5 series - today's contributor is Marc Hornbeek. He's DevOpstastic!
1) What's your preferred definition of DevOps?
“DevOps” is a portmanteau formed by combining abbreviated forms of the words “Development” and “Operations”. It represents a culture in which "Ops" people co-operate with "Dev" people to improve the efficiency of their parent organisation. In my opinion while culture is critical, this is only part of what DevOps is all about. The collaboration of the infrastructure tools that are used by “Dev” and “Ops” teams are as important to realising the potential of DevOps as the culture. So I say "DevOps is a harmonious orchestration of continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous delivery and continuous monitoring tools used within a culture of co-operating development, QA and operations teams with the shared purpose to simultaneously improve content innovation, time-to-market, quality and ROI for the products and services of an organisation." If you prefer here is a much shorter definition that I also like “DevOps is a system for managing and delivering changes efficiently.”
2) When people 'do' DevOps, what's the most common mistake you see them make?
The testing part of DevOps is chronically underestimated. Without continuous testing there is no continuous integration, monitoring or delivery. Yet many organisations do not understand continuous testing best practices or how to properly orchestrate testing properly. Instead of engaging expert consultants they try to do it themselves and often don’t get the desired results. Too many organisations are trying to make-do with existing testing tools that are not DevOps-ready.
3) How do you recommend an organisation new to DevOps start?
Start by forming a strong multi-discipline leadership team which must include budget level sponsors and technical leadership teams. The sponsors need to have budget level authority because doing DevOps right requires investment to start and ongoing investment to operate and improve it. The technical leadership team needs to have architects that have an expert level understanding of DevOps practices and experience with successful DevOps implementations that include continuous integration, testing, delivery and process monitoring practices and tools. If there are any areas that have gaps bring in outside expertise to fill the gaps.
4) What's your prediction for what DevOps will look like in 2020?
DevOps is a system for managing and delivering changes efficiently. But today DevOps is like snowflakes….no two are the same. Over the next few years more of the tools components are likely to become more standardized with RESTful APIs and will include features that support faster and faster change and delivery cycles. Deliveries per hour will become the norm instead of the exception. Also DevOps will find new applications. Already specialty forms of DevOps are springing up for managing and delivering different forms of change.
5) Where do you like to go to get a DevOps hit?
DevOps.com is a good resource. I post my DevOps continuous testing blogs to that site because I found it to be up to date and well-rounded and well managed with top level contributers.
Marc Hornbeek is Sr. Solutions Architect of DevOps continuous test solutions at Spirent Communications, Infrastructure Test Optimization (ITO) BU. He recently managed DevOps at Spirent. He has performed as the primary architect of test automation tools and champion of test automation for firms ranging from start-ups to large multi-national companies. He published more than 30 articles and has been a speaker at numerous conferences and user forums primarily regarding topics related to continuous automated testing and DevOps.
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