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What Is DevOps?

Christian Schou

Ever heard the word DevOps and wondered what that is? The word is a compound of development (Dev) and operations(Ops). At its core, DevOps is a union of technology, processes, and people to provide great value to customers continually.

What does DevOps mean for your organization and development teams? By introducing DevOps in your organization you will make already known siloed roles for development, IT operations, quality, and security collaborate better, resulting in more reliable products.

If you introduce DevOps in your organization, you can respond better to customer needs, increase the confidence in the applications your developers build, and achieve your business goals faster - what's not to like?! 🙌

What Are The Benefits Of DevOps?

Teams that adopt the DevOps mindset, practices, and tools boost their performance significantly. They create superior products more quickly, resulting in higher customer satisfaction. This improved collaboration and productivity aren't just beneficial for the team. They're essential for achieving business goals such as:

  • Accelerating your time to market.
  • Adjusting to market dynamics and competitive forces.
  • Ensuring the stability and reliability of your system and services.
  • Enhancing the average time it takes to recover from incidents.

The Application Lifecycle With A DevOps Approach

devops, lifecycle, devops lifecycle

DevOps leaves its mark on the entire application lifecycle, spanning the planning, development, delivery, and operation phases. These phases are interdependent, breaking away from traditional role-specific boundaries.

In a genuine DevOps culture, every team member plays a role in each phase to varying degrees. Let's break the four just mentioned phases down.

💡 Plan

During the planning phase, DevOps teams engage in ideation, definition, and description of features and capabilities for the applications and systems they're developing.

Progress is monitored at various levels, ranging from individual tasks to those that encompass portfolios of multiple products. DevOps teams exhibit agility and visibility in their planning through practices like creating backlogs, bug tracking, managing agile software development with Scrum, utilizing Kanban boards, and visualizing progress with dashboards.

👨‍💻 Development

In the development phase, every aspect of coding is covered—from writing and testing to reviewing and integrating code by team members. This phase also involves transforming the code into build artifacts that are deployable in different environments.

DevOps teams aim for rapid innovation while maintaining a focus on quality, stability, and productivity. To achieve this, they leverage highly efficient tools, automate routine and manual steps, and progress through small iterations via automated testing and continuous integration.

🚀 Delivery/Deploy

The delivery phase involves the deployment of applications into production environments consistently and reliably. This includes not only deploying the applications but also configuring the fully governed foundational infrastructure that forms these environments.

Within the delivery phase, teams establish a release management process that incorporates well-defined manual approval stages. Additionally, they implement automated gates that facilitate the movement of applications through various stages until they are ready for customer access.

Automating these processes ensures scalability, repeatability, and control. This approach allows DevOps teams to achieve frequent and smooth deliveries with confidence and peace of mind.

🔥 Operations

The operating phase revolves around the upkeep, monitoring, and troubleshooting of applications within production environments. When embracing DevOps practices, teams focus on guaranteeing system reliability, achieving high availability, and aiming for zero downtime while reinforcing security and governance measures.

DevOps teams strive to identify potential issues before they impact the customer experience and, in the event of problems, work swiftly to mitigate them. Sustaining this vigilance necessitates robust telemetry, actionable alerting, and comprehensive visibility into both applications and the underlying system.

What Is A DevOps Culture?

The adoption of DevOps practices brings about automation and process optimization through technology, but the foundation lies in the organizational culture and the individuals within it.

devops, devops culture

Cultivating a DevOps culture poses a challenge as it necessitates profound shifts in how people work and collaborate. However, when organizations wholeheartedly embrace a DevOps culture, they pave the way for the development of high-performing teams within an environment conducive to success. 🎉

Now let's take a look at some of the tasks the DevOps are doing in practice.

DevOps Practices

Teams bring DevOps to life by actively implementing key practices across the entire application lifecycle. Some of these practices are designed to expedite, automate, and enhance specific phases, while others seamlessly span multiple stages, contributing to the overall efficiency and productivity of the team.

Continuous Integration And Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

Configuration management is the practice of overseeing the state of resources within a system, which includes servers, virtual machines, and databases.

Teams utilize configuration management tools to implement changes in a controlled and systematic manner, thereby reducing the risks associated with modifying system configurations.

These tools play a crucial role in tracking the system's state and preventing configuration drift, which refers to the gradual deviation of a system resource's configuration from its intended state over time.

Version Control

Version control is the method of managing code in different versions—keeping track of revisions and change history to facilitate code review and recovery.

Typically implemented through version control systems like Git, this practice enables multiple developers to collaborate in code authoring. These systems establish a clear process for merging code changes in the same files, handling conflicts, and reverting changes to earlier states.

The use of version control stands as a foundational DevOps practice, fostering collaboration among development teams, distributing coding tasks among team members, and ensuring all code is stored for easy recovery when necessary.

Moreover, version control is a crucial component in other practices such as continuous integration and infrastructure as code.

Agile Software Development

Agile stands as a software development approach that prioritizes team collaboration, customer and user feedback, and adaptability to change through brief release cycles.

Agile teams continually deliver changes and enhancements to customers, gather feedback, and then adapt based on customer preferences and requirements.

This approach markedly differs from more traditional frameworks like waterfall, characterized by extended release cycles defined through sequential phases. Within the realm of Agile, two prominent frameworks are Kanban and Scrum.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

Infrastructure as code involves descriptively defining system resources and topologies, allowing teams to manage these resources much like they handle code. These definitions can be stored and versioned in version control systems, making them subject to review and revert processes, similar to code.

Implementing infrastructure as code aids teams in deploying system resources reliably, repeatedly, and with control. It also facilitates the automation of deployment, minimizing the risk of human error, particularly in complex, expansive environments.

This approach provides a consistent and dependable solution for deploying environments, enabling teams to maintain development and testing environments identical to production.

Furthermore, duplicating environments across different data centers and cloud platforms becomes more straightforward and efficient.

Configuration Management

Configuration management involves overseeing the state of resources in a system, encompassing servers, virtual machines, and databases. By employing configuration management tools, teams can implement changes in a controlled and systematic manner, mitigating the risks associated with modifying system configurations.

These tools are instrumental in tracking the system's state and preventing configuration drift, where a system resource's configuration gradually deviates over time from the intended state.

When coupled with infrastructure as code, the practices of system definition and configuration become easily templatized and automated. This synergy enables teams to efficiently operate complex environments at scale.

Continuous Monitoring 👓

Continuous monitoring entails having comprehensive, real-time insights into the performance and health of the entire application stack, ranging from the underlying infrastructure to higher-level software components.

This visibility is achieved through the collection of telemetry and metadata, accompanied by the configuration of alerts for predefined conditions that require attention from an operator. Telemetry encompasses event data and logs gathered from various parts of the system, stored for analysis and querying.

Top-notch DevOps teams prioritize the establishment of actionable and meaningful alerts, coupled with the collection of rich telemetry. This approach allows teams to derive insights from extensive data, aiding in real-time issue mitigation and offering valuable perspectives on how to enhance the application in subsequent development cycles.

DevOps Tools 🛠️

DevOps Space has a child site with a detailed overview of DevOps tools that you can go check out. It's available right here:

DevOps Space Tools
Looking for a collection of awesome DevOps tools? DevOps Space Tools is a growing collection of tools for DevOps Engineers.

All teams leverage a variety of DevOps tools to cultivate a DevOps culture within their particular organization. Typically, teams rely on multiple tools, constructing customized toolchains tailored to their requirements at each stage of the application lifecycle.

It's crucial to note that adopting a particular tool or technology doesn't equate to adopting DevOps. However, in the presence of a DevOps culture and well-defined processes, individuals can effectively implement and streamline DevOps practices by selecting the appropriate tools for their needs.


In this article, we took a high-level view of what DevOps is and how it's implemented in organizations.

You have learned what practices DevOps are performing in an organization and what tools they leverage. All DevOps are not using the same tools, it's individual from team to team based on the product they have to deliver to customers.

I hope you now have a better idea of what DevOps is. If you have any questions or suggestions for this article, please let me know in the comments below. Until next time, happy DevOpsing! ✌️