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Rita Roy
Rita Roy

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10 Best Practices for DevOps That Will Improve Your Productivity

The world of DevOps is ever-changing, and if you want to stay on top of the latest practices and advancements, you need to follow the trends and keep up with new developments. Of course, sometimes, this can be overwhelming when you're trying to get things done and stay productive daily.

There are tons of things that can get in your team's ability to stay productive. From underperforming employees to broken processes, it's hard to keep on top of everything you need to do each day.

Do you think that DevOps is important for your enterprise!

50% of enterprises view DevOps as extremely essential for their enterprise. The infographic below offers insights into DevOps' popularity worldwide.

DevOps Practices

DevOps has effectively changed the game when it comes to keeping productivity high. Notably, these ten best practices for DevOps will help you implement them in your team as soon as possible.

  • Create a Culture that's Driven by Collaboration
  • Promote Agile Methodology
  • Automate Tasks Using CI/CD
  • Develop a Test Automation Plan
  • Consider Moving to a Microservices Architecture
  • Leverage Container Orchestration
  • Consider Using Infrastructure as Code
  • Stay Secure From the Start
  • Ensure Success in Better Communication
  • Review, Refine, Repeat

Let’s explore these ideas in detail.

1) Create a Culture that's Driven by Collaboration

Making sure your team is productive keeps them motivated and engaged. And creating a collaborative culture in which people feel

  • Safe giving their opinion,
  • Free to make mistakes, and
  • Listening is the key.

It ensures a feedback loop that helps you build better products. With a team of collaborators (and co-workers), you'll be able to do more in less time.

And it's important to note: It's not just about what you know but also about who you know.

Invest in cross-team communication to make sure your team is working together. It might seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many teams are siloed and don't have an open dialogue with other departments.

To foster collaboration and better productivity, make sure your team members regularly know what everyone else is doing. It will help them understand why they need to do something or why they can't do something—and it will also help them build relationships with their co-workers.

A side benefit: It will allow you to build relationships with people outside your team. If you want your dedicated team to work together, you need them to talk and listen to each other regularly.

2) Promote Agile Methodology

DevOps Practices

Source: Statista - Development Methodologies

Agile has become a buzzword in many organizations. But if you are beginning to adopt it, there is a lot to learn. Agile methodology is a set of guidelines that can help improve your development process, team dynamics, and much more.

More importantly, adopting an agile approach allows you to build momentum as you and your team grow. It will enable you to continually refine and adjust your processes as needed—and do so quickly.

Note: DevOps best practice is not against Agile. In fact, DevOps extends the Agile methodology to include developers and operations engineers working together to improve the efficiency and productivity of software development. Thus promoting Agile is surely among the best practices for DevOps.

It also includes automation of previously manual processes and monitoring of performance metrics so that DevOps can address issues before they cause problems. It's a culture change that emphasizes collaboration between all members of an organization and improves communication across departments.

Ultimately, it's about improving efficiency and productivity through technology and process innovation to deliver better customer experiences—and it can help your company do just that!

3) Automate Tasks Using CI/CD

Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) can help your team improve its overall productivity. Continuous integration is a standard development practice in which code is integrated into a shared repository several times.

Each check-in is verified by a dedicated automated build in which you must meet all prerequisites before the code can be considered ready to test. Even though continuous integration does not ensure that all code will work together, it identifies when there are incompatibilities early on and when changes are easiest to make.

The short time frame helps limit problems as new features get added over time. If developers find bugs after more of your code has been written, fixing it becomes significantly more difficult.

Automating with CI/CD ensures eliminating any potential human error. It is essential because any developer can make a mistake, and your team must understand how to prevent them from happening.

If a developer checks in code that breaks everything, they are much more likely to fix it immediately if they know the new code will break their work until they do so. In addition, automation also allows you to test against multiple environments and platforms in parallel.

It means you can test on different versions of your software and other operating systems. So, you can count CI/CD among the best practices for DevOps.

4) Develop a Test Automation Plan

Develop a Test Automation Plan

Source: BotPlay Automation

The most effective way to ensure quality is through automated testing. And no, I'm not talking about functional tests or end-to-end (E2E) tests. These kinds of tests are important and all, but there's a way you can run manual tests that are even better.

Avoid running long E2E tests, which can take hours to complete and require specific knowledge about each test scenario. Consider writing unit or integration tests—which will run much faster than E2E tests since they're only responsible for testing one small area at a time.

Continuous testing is a software development practice where tests are written before code. The Development team can do this manually or through automated test frameworks like Selenium, Appium, and Cucumber. Tests are then run continuously (usually in a CI/CD pipeline) so that any time a developer checks in code, they're also running tests against it.

It ensures that your entire team is always aware of what changes break existing functionality and gives you a way to fix those issues before they make it into production quickly. The best part about continuous testing is that it can be applied at any level of your organization—even if you don't have a dedicated QA team or resources for manual testing.

5) Consider Moving to a Microservices Architecture

Switching to microservices architecture leads to a more agile environment that allows you to scale your business which makes it among the DevOps best practice. You can add/remove features as you see fit, and new team members can quickly get up and running on a service they're responsible for.

The biggest downside is that it takes time and energy to build out an entirely new stack, but if you're in a position where your current one isn't working well enough, it might be worth looking into.

One of the notable challenges in creating a successful microservices architecture is not overcomplicating things. It's easy to fall into microservice creation syndrome, where every new idea warrants its microservice. Still, that won't be necessary unless you have tens of thousands of lines of code or multiple teams working on different pieces at once.

The big questions you need to answer about your business are:

  • (1) What does our team do?
  • (2) What features are we building?

Once you know what makes up your application stack and exactly how it fits together, then it's time to design independent but interdependent service definitions.

6) Leverage Container Orchestration

The old approach of virtualizing servers in a bare-metal environment is no longer efficient enough to meet modern requirements, but moving to a public cloud model can create headaches. So container orchestration provides a happy medium by running containers across multiple nodes, which scales up and down according to demand.

It also makes it easier to move applications from one environment (test, staging, production). As more organizations embrace containerized application development and deployment, orchestration tools are going mainstream.

The fastest-growing type in Kubernetes (K8s), an open-source container orchestrator that Google developed in-house and has managed its infrastructure since 2010.

7) Consider Using Infrastructure as Code

Consider Using Infrastructure as Code

Source: Exoscale

With Infrastructure as Code (IAC), developers can provision and configure any infrastructure component, such as load balancers, web servers, virtual machines (VMs), and database instances, by coding. With IAC, developers needn't do tedious research or manually enter information such as IP addresses and server names to deploy resources.

Instead, you can automate your entire build process through code alone—and typically using a configuration management system. The development team also eliminates errors when some manual deployment portion is overlooked or filled in incorrectly.

It is possible because everything is handled automatically which automatically makes it the list of best practices for DevOps. The time you save with IAC frees up resources for more pressing tasks, such as developing new products.

8) Stay Secure From the Start

When starting a new project or operation, security needs to be one of your top priorities. When it's not, it can be too easy to ignore or postpone essential questions like the following:

  • What data should you keep safe?
  • Who needs access to what information?
  • How will we monitor our networks? And so on.

But each time you let a guard down at a critical moment, you risk finding yourself in a significant breach situation—and that can set your business back months, if not years.

To stay secure, use comprehensive encryption and biometric authentication whenever possible. It includes integrating systems that support TLS 1.2+ (at least), allowing private key management, and enabling Perfect Forward Secrecy.

9) Ensure Success in Better Communication

Dealing with people is one of the biggest challenges at work and home. If we find that a relationship is strained or awkward, we're likely to resort to email or Slack channels to communicate. These channels can certainly be helpful.

However, on the downside, they're also impersonal and don't always lend themselves well to providing constructive feedback—especially when you have something critical to say!

The most successful teams know how effective critical communication is in every aspect of their job. So, encourage everyone on your team to seek face-to-face or video call communication. With a bit of encouragement, many people will try harder to ask questions and give each other regular updates on projects.

10) Review, Refine, Repeat

It's an endless cycle of testing, fixing, and retesting. Fortunately, each time you apply changes to your code or infrastructure, you can capture a commit that includes metadata about what was changed. This commit history is stored in a VCS (version control system).

If something goes wrong in your code or infrastructure deployment, you can use your VCS to go back and find where it went wrong and fix it before things get too out of hand. It can be daunting at first: You have to learn how to use a VCS (most offer free tutorials on their websites), but it becomes second nature after a while.

Wrapping Up

The need to collaborate and develop a positive, innovative culture is growing more critical today. While it may be challenging to do so with your existing staff, plenty of new, talented individuals are out there looking for an exciting place to work.

Implementing even a few of these best practices for DevOps will help your organization become more responsive and agile. All of it while allowing you to stand out among competitors who aren't doing as much.

And don't forget: If you have any questions or would like some advice on how best to move forward, don't hesitate to contact a DevOps services company.

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