Why DevOps Is All About Teamwork, Not Tools

The Problem

Developers aren’t in touch with the business or the delivery process. QA doesn’t know what to test, how to test it, or where to test it. Operations isn’t sure how to deliver software and doesn’t know what’s coming. And all three treat each other as adversaries, when they should collaborate. DevOps is the breakthrough you need to foster innovation, but is it a magic bullet?

The Mindset

Because DevOps shifts the focus of software development to a collaboration between development, operations, and testing, there isn’t really a single tool that your company can implement and be brought into best practices.

Instead, it involves deploying a complete cultural shift in the approach towards software development. The cycle expands the Agile practice of continuous feedback and constant communication across three groups and the way they interact with each other. It automates and integrates many of its components while expanding the space for innovation.

At the heart of this is culture. There is no substitute for cultural shift, which aims at establishing an environment where building, testing and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently, and more reliably.

Differentiating Standard Practices from Best Practices

All areas need to be integrated, and there are best practices in doing so. Many of them may seem like common sense, but they are at odds with the standard practices you may be used to.

For instance, leveraging test case management helps integrate QA. Test case management identifies what needs to be tested, how it needs to be tested, and what is going to be done. Sounds like a no-brainer, but most companies aren’t taking advantage simply because it’s not standard practice. Standard practices are what everyone else does. Best practices are those that break through to the next level. When you need help maintaining transparency and collaboration, test case management is a building block that ensures bad software isn’t allowed to be released through the deployment process.

Conclusion

At the end of the day development, quality assurance, and operations all need to have a sense of purpose driving them towards the same overall goal. DevOps is cultural shift, and many times a helping hand is necessary.

Originally published on SmallFootprint.com.

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