Whereas in the traditional project approach, a complete end product is delivered, tested and implemented, in DevOps, development is iterative. Small steps and smaller releases reduce risk and facilitate manageability. Agile Coach Hans Heising: "When a developer has created something, it is automatically tested, integrated and ready to be taken into production." Continuous integration/ Continuous deployment is what Hans calls it. "This gives you very short releases, sometimes even of less than a day. By working iteratively, you have the effect of the work available to the user much faster. You then build on what is there. And you can incorporate the feedback right into the next release.". The strength of DevOps is that one team is responsible for the entire process. From demand to availability for the end user.
Fast, faster, fastest
For the client, this provides a big advantage. "He has a well-functioning product more often," says business consultant Rody Okhuijzen. "Errors are visible faster and are solved sooner. Adjustments and improvements are in production faster and the client does not have to wait long for new functionalities. A wish on his part can already be available next week. This allows him to respond better to developments taking place in his environment."
Changing role of testing
Automatic testing changes the role of the test manager. The latter has to think carefully not afterwards but in advance about what he wants to test, why he wants to test it and how it should be tested. "In the DevOps team, the test manager is no longer the person who goes through test protocols, but the person who thinks about what needs to be tested in order to then develop the tests," he said. "The tester and the developer work up together so that the software being developed can be tested automatically right away." Rody complements Hans: "His findings in turn provide useful input for the developers. In a DevOps team, everyone is forced to think more critically - together - from the beginning."
"The tester and the developer work up together so that the software being developed can immediately be tested automatically."
- Hans Heising, Agile Coach InTraffic
Working together differently
Whereas the management team attaches importance to few disruptions in the production environment and prefers to deliver as few new versions as possible, the development team prefers to create many versions and new functionalities. "That takes some getting used to for the teams. It requires a close way of working together and good communication. In practice, however, this works very pleasantly. You have quick feedback and build on what is already there." Hans indicates that by working so closely together, you gain a greater appreciation for each other. "If you as a developer see that what you have created is being used and managed in a good way in practice, that can make you very happy." The client also knows what to expect. "He can also respond faster to developments happening in his environment instead of being on the road for months with a new release. With DevOps, the lead time is shorter!
Almost any project is suitable for DevOps, but it requires an adjustment in the organization. Responsibilities shift and there needs to be a great foundation of trust. "You can't impose it, you really have to do it together. Both Hans and Rody are big proponents of using DevOps. "It can be used more and more widely, even in already existing projects. The Ops side has contact with the end user, the Dev side can implement the feedback right away. With DevOps, the end goal remains the same but you reach this goal faster and with fewer mistakes."