The modern market and ongoing competition are forcing manufacturers to roll out their products as fast as possible, requiring them to develop software more quickly. An effective way to speed up development is to take advantage of automation and orchestration. In this article, we’ll spell out how these approaches help companies speed up and optimize software development workflow.
What is DevOps automation?
It’s almost impossible to write code without errors on the first try: programmers may simply not notice errors while they work in the development environment. Afterward, the errors will appear in certain situations, causing problems for users.
DevOps enables you to uncover weaknesses in your code has. Programs get tested, by engineers simulating various situations in which errors can appear. This way, software is improved and updated. Moreover, programs get aligned with the concept of your product, and users enjoy high-quality, useful software.
The problem is that writing and testing code manually takes a lot of time. This delays the release of your product. Nonetheless, you can delegate many processes to programs, i.e., automate them. Whether these are separate tasks or several interconnected ones comes down to automation. When programs perform many tasks using complex algorithms, this kind of optimization is called orchestration. These two processes help manufacturers and start-ups save time and reduce human error. Employees will free up time to solve creative problems.
Automation doesn’t mean that you want to scrap manual testing, as the right balance of the two will deliver an excellent result.
DevOps automation examples: what workflows can be done using programs
Infrastructure as code (IaC). This approach allows for greater flexibility and scalability. Based on certain patterns, it enables you to deploy and update infrastructure services quickly.
A culture of cooperation. Arrange communication between departments and set up your company for effective teamwork. All team members want to know what to take charge of. They also want the tools needed for quick, simple, and effective communication, namely, project management programs. This way, you speed up your workflow and handle emergency incidents faster.
Software version control tools. Tools designed for organizing and managing versions help engineers collaborate better. This way, you keep your deployment environment in order, as each team member will always have access to a common code base and the latest software version.
An event log. Effective engineers want to have up-to-date data on all changes in the code. It helps speed up the development process and track the effectiveness of each version.
Split code into modules. Each object must get represented uniquely and unambiguously. This allows you to save time writing code, make the developers’ work easier, and deliver error-free code.
DevOps best practices
DevOps way of thinking: make your team fall in love with automation
- Employees often resist the transition to automated processes. Automation aims to make their work easier and more comfortable. But, on the other hand, it may also cause anxiety among teammates for these reasons:
A fear of cutbacks: If programs do part of the job, employees may become redundant.
- Setting up processes and switching to a new model: Every product is unique. For that reason, you won’t find a one-size-fits-all automation solution: you can’t just install a piece of software as a new program and get started right away. Instead, you must set up many different processes to make the transition nice and smooth. All in all, it’ll require effort and time from your team. If your employees continue to work on their regular tasks in parallel, it won’t be easy for them to succeed.
- Unwillingness to change. Advanced technologies and techniques make people step out comfort zone. If you want to implement new programs, your employees must get upskilled, get become familiar with the UI, and plan regular processes. All of that takes both time and resources.
To avoid any concerns, before integrating a new method, hold a meeting with your team and discuss a plan for automating. Assure them their jobs are safe and that you simply plan on making good use of their freed-up time, let’s say, to complete other tasks, develop the project, and improve their skills. Make a step-by-step plan for integrating automation with their ongoing commitments in mind. Elaborate on why they won’t have to set up lots of processes in a short time: you’ll allow enough time for all of that, the team won’t be overloaded, and they’ll be able to get used to the new workflow.
Begin with automated testing
Automation primarily aims to minimize errors, which may remain after manual testing. Automated testing helps solve two essential tasks at once: let employees spend less time completing routine tasks and write cleaner code.
Opt for scalable tools
Initially, it would be better to choose flexible tools that can adapt as your business grows. In this case, you’ll be using them when your business reaches a new level. For instance, Jenkins is perfect for smaller projects and can also be used in new areas.
Take care of your security from the start
The leader and the team often are more focused on development and business matters. Security must be a top priority, because if it’s not, it may cost you dearly. Expecting engineers to take the initiative in security matters is not the right option. They write code most of the time. Take charge of it by engaging security experts. We recommend placing data security on the agenda from the start of your project. Adopt a DevSevOps approach to ensure security at all stages of development.
Popular orchestration tools DevOps
Kubernetes is an open-source orchestration service for managing containerized workloads and services. This service enables you to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of applications.
Terraform is a popular IaC platform designed for creating, changing, and improving the infrastructure of cloud services. Thanks to additional plug-ins, you can work with Terraform using any text editor.
Ansible is a configuration management system that automates software configuration and deployment processes. Ansible enables you to create, share, and manage automation scripts. This service works by connecting to developer nodes and pushing so-called modules—small automation programs—out to them.
GitHub is a version control platform. Also, this service is usable as a CI/CD pipeline to test, release, and deploy software.
GitLab is a cloud-based tool for storing and managing repositories with features such as version control, planning, monitoring, and project security.
Jenkins is an open-source platform for automating CI/CD. Backed by an ecosystem of plug-ins, DevOps teams can continuously develop and test software. Another advantage of Jenkins is it offers a highly customizable UI to detect and fix bugs quickly.
Orchestration and automation help minimize errors your code may have due to the human factor. Moreover, it tackles unforeseen problems quickly and effectively, makes daily tasks easier to complete, and automates routine workflows. As everyday processes get automated, teammates have more time for business planning and creative activities, something that programs can’t do. As a result, you spend less time building software, code improves, products roll out faster, and manufacturers save money.