We all know the old maxim: Time is money. It rings true today, in all business matters, and there’s so many ways that delays and miscommunications can cost your business. If you hire a general contractor to renovate your house, for example, you need to be certain they are organizing the right crews in the correct order, sticking closely to the timeline and budget, and communicating regularly with you.It’s really no different working with an app development partner; you should be certain that they are working as an organization as intelligently and efficiently as possible. Quite often, excessive, isolated, and redundant personnel can stall and hold up a project. If you’re actively ideating an app idea and considering various app developers, you need to assure that they have an excellent DevOps team.
What DevOps Does
In the past, the development team and the operations team worked fairly independently, as did many other teams; development stopped at launch, and operations took over from there. Additionally, technology that one team might utilize wouldn’t necessarily translate to another, leaving powerful tools unused for certain processes. By merging these teams throughout the entire journey, it allows all the members to utilize each others technology, ideas, and manpower to accomplish the common goals for the client. With collaboration, a DevOps team can put your app on the quality fast track, producing a high-end product that’s secure, continuously tested, and responsive. Here’s a few services that a top-notch DevOps team can offer.
- Experienced Quality Control: Who better to address potential problems with an app during development than the IT support teams that fix them every day? Sounds like an obvious practice here, but the numbers say otherwise. According to this report, 85% of all technical support teams say a lack of visibility and involvement in the development process poses a challenge for them, and 99% say that being unprepared for a release is a problem for them. Industry leaders should see this as a fixable issue by integrating the departments, along with business analysts and project managers, to streamline the development, testing, and launch phases with one single-minded team.
- Speed: Teams working together make all sorts of things faster. Overall, an integrated philosophy will speed your timeline up, with operations informing development of common code issues and bugs, necessary upcoming updates, and new features that are in the pipeline. After a launch, a DevOps team can continue the testing and monitoring processes in small, less disruptive ways with continuous delivery of automated software upgrades and code testing and deployment. Other automated tasks free up time for engineers and other specialists to skip laborious manual tasks and focus on their specialties.
- Scalability: We’ve talked before about how important it is to make your project scalable, especially on the front end before launch. DevOps teams have the expertise and technical range to optimize servers, tech stacks, and software infrastructure during development to ensure a smooth expansion when it’s time to scale up. Once it’s time to grow, the continuous operations loop allows them to insert code and features with constant testing to make certain that any updates or changes of direction go off without a hitch, and monitoring systems closely watch your app grow. And with all phases of the team working together in concert, you won’t have to wait through handoff delays and miscommunications, letting your app grow organically.
- Continuous Integration: This is a prime example of how the DevOps philosophy can make a real difference during the development process. Continuous integration consists of a central shared repository, where developers continuously submit original and reworked code, where automated testing and integration takes place. Traditionally, coders would build their entire block of code, and only turn it in when it was complete. Continuous integration speeds this process up, by testing pieces of code, identifying bugs, and getting the software operational and the updates deployed rapidly. It also depends on a DevOps cultural mindset; in order for the system to operate efficiently, developers need to get into the practice of submitting code in pieces, and letting the automated testing and building do its job.
- Rescue Missions: If your mobile or web-based project is flailing, the agility and expertise of a DevOps team is just what you need. We all know downtime and dysfunction is costly, so the power of a team made up of developers, testers, and operations specialists can cover all the bases in a coordinated and comprehensive manner. Using the iterative model, the team can simultaneously identify problems, ideate solutions, and develop and test new code and features all while looping feedback and sharing responsibilities. When strategized well, your formerly failing app can be brought back bigger and stronger with higher retention and lower fail rates. Here’s a summary of how such a rescue mission might go, with a success story to help illustrate it.
The Philosophy of DevOps
Yes, DevOps identifies a team or department, but it’s really more of a philosophy. To properly implement this sort of collaborative ethos, you should think of it as more of an office culture shift. Traditional business models often have been running for years with the silo approach, where one department operates in an insular manner with its own responsibilities, goals, and internal communications. Switching to a DevOps culture requires everyone to be on board, from senior leadership on down to entry levels. Respect, trust, and accountability are all key tenets for everyone involved, and the group hive mentality has to be not just present, but agreed upon. For example, adopting the same software and tools company-wide makes it easier to collaborate and communicate.
Finding the Right DevOps Partner
Identifying and hiring an agency that uses the DevOps philosophy can be tricky…after all, this same report shows that, when asked about the adoption of DevOps, 40% of all support techs had no idea what DevOps even means. Look for a healthy culture, listen for mentions of teamwork and collaboration, and do some research. Many companies start DevOps ideas small within their existing company framework, and count on individuals to help it spread throughout the company as a good idea. Either way, hiring a great DevOps team should be a must for any progressive thinking brand who wants their app developed and launched with maximum speed, quality, and security.
Want to explore partnering with Koombea for DevOps services? Check out more information about our work and reach out for a free consultation!