Latest DevOps Opinions
SDM is all about breaking down silos to focus on delivering the best, most impactful software possible and. But it’s not enough to deliver fast and without flaws. The core metrics you try to achieve have to be aligned and focused on delivering the quality software customers want and are willing to pay for. Creating a synchronized system based on common data, integrated tools, universal insights and streamlined processes helps organisations measure development effort to business value, resulting in making software delivery a core business process.
It’s a simple fact of software life. Not all applications start life as mission-critical; but, much like our own process of human evolution, at some point in their lifecycle, they evolve to become more fundamental to the core operations and central workflows that an organisation needs in order to survive.
Initially, many software applications may be created on the basis of an initial deployment rationale for some lower-level functional procedure, perhaps for a specific line of business, or some other more comparatively lesser task.
But, in time, due to market shifts and a range of other factors, those initially quite basic apps start to become mission-critical. So we need to be able to evolve applications that started life differently if we are to ensure security and scalability.
It’s no secret that DevOps teams typically have three main priorities: increasing agility and innovation, improving collaboration, and delivering products faster to market. It’s also no secret that they will be quick to adopt any technology that supports these goals.
Containerisation is a natural fit for this framework: increasing the scalability and dynamism of the cloud to develop and update applications faster, meet the ever-increasing demands placed on DevOps teams, and ultimately deliver better customer experiences. However, there are a few obstacles still standing in the way.
We all know that CI and CD hold the power to drive digital transformation. These DevOps building blocks have allowed companies to optimise their productivity and foster innovation through high-velocity software iterations, and their far-reaching benefits have drawn attention not only from developer teams, but also from the likes of IT, operations, security, and leadership. To be precise, research has shown that security is one of the key stakeholders that are critical in DevOps implementation at 44 percent, followed by central IT admin at 38 percent, management and leadership at 25 percent, line of business managers at 23 percent, and so on.
As DevOps Technical Lead at Virgin Atlantic, Martyn Coupland has two primary responsibilities. First, he is one of the subject matter experts for the airline’s Microsoft Azure platform and the subject matter expert for the Azure toolset which enables its DevOps program.
In addition to the technical legwork, Martyn also provides expertise “around the softer side of DevOps” – in other words, the people and process side of things: “As technology changes, people change and processes change. DevOps will always be here to ensure all three sit together and provide real value,” he explains. “This allows not just technology teams at Virgin Atlantic but other parts of the business to adopt DevOps methodologies.”
For Dave Whyte, operations lead at UK automotive marketplace Auto Trader, a combination of Google Kubernetes Engine and an Istio service mesh has made the company’s DevOps dish taste even sweeter. At this year’s DevOps Live in London, Dave will explain why the centralised platform the company has built using the two tools is “the DevOps dream.”
The combination is a powerful weapon. But what are Kubernetes and Istio’s respective roles in the new environment?
The world of enterprise software development came of age with the emergence of ‘single purpose’ software applications aligned to a specific business function. It started with accounting programmes in finance, but with time, many areas such as manufacturing, supply chain and inventory management also benefited from the emergence of purpose-built applications.
Monolithic structures like ERPs, for instance, were designed to increase efficiency by transmitting information across business functions. Problems started creeping in, however, when businesses customised these applications to cater to their own unique requirements.
More often than not, increased customisation rendered these applications slow and clunky since they were too rigid to scale, making frequent iterations difficult. The IT department that was supposed to incite productivity became the reason for falling behind.
Just about every business today relies on people who write code. The problem is that hiring good developers is difficult. It may even be the most difficult thing a business will do.
The reason developer hiring is such an important topic (and something many businesses find challenging) is that unlike many other professions, good developers can be many times more productive than their peers.
While disconnected, siloed working doesn’t always lead to explosive Martian mishaps, it is certainly increasingly incompatible with our hyper-connected, digitally transformed realities. Innovation and progress have the best chance to succeed when inter-team alignment is constant, and everyone is relentlessly, continually engaged in collaborative dialogue. This is exactly why DevOps methodologies are having such an influential impact on software development right now, bringing development and operations teams together to produce the best possible outcomes. Much has been written about the technical aspects of DevOps but, regrettably, less attention has been spent on championing the fundamental soft skills that make it so powerful.
In a world where one data breach is all it takes to destroy a business, only the prepared and vigilant ones that embrace security in their operations will survive.
Yet, for many organisations, successfully integrating security into the software delivery lifecycle is still a huge obstacle. As illustrated in this year’s Puppet’s State of DevOps Report, which revealed that only 22 percent of companies at the highest level of security integration have reached an advanced stage of DevOps maturity. Delivering innovation shouldn’t result in the need to compete head-to-head with safeguarding customer data.
While there is a myriad of security practices and solutions in the market, why is it so hard to integrate security into software development?
Fintech apps are changing users’ relationships with money. Whether your users are freelancers, amateur investors or just trying to gain more control over their finances, fintech apps offer new and innovative ways to move, save, and invest funds.
If you’re a fintech app developer, chances are your users are looking to you to help them make their financial lives easier. Popular apps like Twine help users automatically move money into a savings account to achieve financial goals or build emergency funds, and apps like Steady help string together payments from multiple sources to help paint a detailed picture of a freelancer’s income.
The shift towards cloud native architectures and micro services has accelerated the need to integrate security into DevOps environments.
I’ve seen first-hand how modern architectures have given agile DevOps teams a new and unparalleled velocity to create, release and deploy. But with that boost in speed comes the need to bolster processes and secure application estates.
The traditional handovers for software development are now obsolete. DevOps teams can do them autonomously and are encouraged to do so. Whilst that’s all well and good, as technical leaders we’re obliged to inspect our operations and introduce new methods to ensure pipelines remain secure. Modern checks and balances should automatically detect and reject forbidden changes before they are even applied.