The need to stay one step ahead in the market has put pressure on organizations to produce products at increasing speed and with higher quality. This demand opens the door to Agile, where developers deliver code frequently with changes, while operations personnel take care of the deployments, making sure there are no outages in the system caused by these deployments. When a problem occurs, the operations team might not know much about the inner workings of these deployments, so won’t necessarily be able to see what is causing the application to halt. DevOps is the answer, because it smoothes the interaction between development and operations. The aim of DevOps is to bring down the wall of confusion so developers and operations can properly work together. To get the best out of this practice, using a DevOps strategy such as CALMS, can make a big difference to organizational efficiency and overall job satisfaction.
We will now discuss the key DevOps strategy collectively referred to as CALMS, which stands for Culture, Automation, Lean, Measurement, and Sharing.
Changing the culture in an organization towards a collaborative way of working is an essential part of DevOps. When incidents occur in production, developers need to be available to the operations team to find the root cause of the problem. This culture shift then creates a team consisting of personnel from development, quality assurance, and operations. The expanded team can then work on the application in a collaborative manner, taking interest in optimizing production to run in a smooth manner. Cooperation is not limited to just this situation, but rather the full team also goes further with streamlining the deployment process through automation and continuous monitoring in order to improve the whole chain of process.
It is necessary to change normal process if we are to transform the culture within an organization. The goal of automation in DevOps is to achieve low lead times and continuous feedback. This encourages the creation of a smooth deployment pipeline that covers all the necessary process changes. This pipeline models the development processes, testing and deploying the application into the production. With automation, once a change passes all tests in which any deviations will have been discovered, it will automatically move towards the next phase. With this pipeline, when the application is ready for release, actual deployment is just a button away.
A major building block in DevOps is lean methodology. Organizations are customer-centric, so focus on processes which result in higher quality products. Lean makes sure that only work included in the sprint takes place. Because automation efficiently reduces wasted time and effort, no repetitive tasks need to be done, which results in making work more enjoyable and interesting. Test automation improves quality and delivers builds faster by optimizing the whole process.
A range of different metrics can be used to measure the success of DevOps. These measurements help organizations at a basic level to know how well the team is doing at any point in the process. Such metrics can also be used to discover any roadblocks in the chain, which is an important part of keeping the process lean. Another crucial measuring metric is monitoring the application in the production environment. In traditional development models, monitoring happens at the end of the development process to test the application’s stability, whereas, in DevOps, monitoring is necessary throughout the whole process, to make sure the application remains stable at all levels.
The final part of our CALMS acronym, is sharing. It is a recognised fact that to have an accessible culture with an effective mechanism of spreading the knowledge across different teams, it is essential to bring down the barriers between Development and Operations. In DevOps, tools and technologies are shared equally among all the teams, so similarly, success should also be shared equally. This approaches enhances the social aspect of DevOps. Sharing will encourage members to work in an innovative way and share the finding with the rest of the organization, benefiting the organization at large. When an organization creates a deployment pipeline visible to every member of the team, all involved know the current stages and levels the process is moving through. Shared responsibility is the key in DevOps to stay ahead in the competition.
Working with a DevOps team that commits to implementing CALMS makes life easier for all stakeholders. As they say, “You build it, you run it.”