TO: Prof. Jason W. Ellis
FROM: Jeremy Corona
SUBJECT: 500-Word Summary of Wiedemann’s “Research for Practice: The DevOps Phenomenon”
If you are in the realm of Information Technology, then you most likely have heard of the term “DevOps”. DevOps stands for Development Operations. A lot of people even IT professionals have a hard time defining this term. Is it a career? Is it a concept? What is a DevOps Engineer? DevOps is all of those and more, it is best to think of it as a culture. DevOps is a method of software development and delivery. It is method organizations are taking advantage of in order to improve the efficiency of their software development, deployment pipeline. In this article “Research for Practice: The DevOps Phenomenon” by Wiedemann, Forsgren et al. takes a closer look at this new methodology on producing stable, feature rich software applications with high customer satisfaction.
The traditional “Waterfall” method of delivering a software product has been around for years. While it does have its advantages there is a giant gap between the software developers and the operations team. DevOps is the methodology to bridge that gap. During the Waterfall method once the project is done, the application is handed off to the Operations team. They are responsible for the day to day maintenance and stability of the application. They are on the forefront when interacting with customers and bugs are being found. Developers do not usually see this going on in the background because as far their concerned they have delivered the product. This can cause a conflict within the two teams because when the new features roll out, the operations team is worried about more instability and bugs.
With the DevOps methodology, organizations bring those two teams together to develop and produce software that continuously creates value. There are many ways to implement this concept. Collaboration is key. Operations people will start doing some development work to see how things get done and how the teams’ function. Developers would start maintaining some of the products that have created as well. Some organizations implement cross training and job shadowing. This puts employees on the same page when brainstorming new products or developing and delivering new meaningful features to an existing product. “For organizations hoping to capture market share and deliver value faster (or even just deliver software more safely and securely), DevOps promises both speed and stability.” (Forsgren, 2018, p. 45.)
This doesn’t mean that DevOps is easy to implement in an organization. Organizations may be hesitant to change their software development cycle. Implementing DevOps may cause some employees to gain more responsibility, and that can always be alarming. Strong leader-ship is needed to adopt this mind set. DevOps isn’t a strict structure. It is a very flexible concept that organizations implement in their own ways. DevOps teams doesn’t just only have to include developers and operations members, some organizations include stakeholders as well. The goal is for the organization to not fall short in deploying fast, high quality software products.
DevOps has many different definitions to different organizations. To some it’s a position to bridge the gap between two teams, to others it is a collaborative team with one common goal. DevOps It is a guideline, and a set of principles for organizations to follow. Organizations across the globe are having great success with this methodology. Implementing DevOps can be challenging, but with strong leadership and inclining employees’ organizations can reap the benefits of DevOps.
Wiedemann A., Forsgren N., Wiesche M., Gewald H. & Krcmar H. (2019).Research for Practice: The DevOps Phenomenon. Communications Of The ACM, 62(8), 44-49.