How DevOps has turned the tables for application development

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Often branded as a modern software engineering approach that bridges the gap between development and operations, DevOps is actually much more than just that. It enables effective and efficient collaboration between software developers, project managers, and operational staff, offering a surefire way to  align project goals to business strategy and objectives.

For many, DevOps also means simply automation in the development process. While both viewpoints are right, they are equally limited in describing the impact of DevOps. The first definition fires closer to what DevOps actually is: a collaborative approach to break down the boundaries between development and operations teams, and then focusing on streamlining the processes that both teams carry out. This in turn leads to faster building and testing of software.

What does DevOps bring to the table, in terms of application development?

DevOps actually brings together the agile approach, continuous delivery, automation of routine tasks, and much more to ensure that the efficiency of software teams skyrocket. In terms of application development, efficiency is considered to be a major measure of performance. DevOps, while ensuring efficiency, also throws in innovation and higher business value into the mix, therefore taking the entire software development life cycle to a level of superiority, never seen before.

By blurring the once clear boundaries between development and operations, application life cycles are also becoming faster and more agile, with shorter QA sessions adding the cherry on top. The extent of the impact of DevOps is such that large scale applications, instead of being deployed only a few times a year, are now being deployed to production multiple times in a single day.

The implementation of DevOps makes it easier and faster to identify and resolve bugs, too, in addition to making deployment speedier. Environments thus end up becoming more stable, throwing in more time to innovate and discover more.

The pillars of DevOps: a focus on application development

DevOps, ever since it was introduced as a concept, has been revolutionizing the world of application development, as stated above. It works on few key pillars that must be considered when we talk about integrating DevOps in business and development operations. Without further ado, let’s dive into these.

  • Building a quality driven mindset

With the main objective of DevOps being to create faster delivery without compromising the quality of the product, a quality driven mindset becomes crucial for the success of this methodology. Instead of simply shipping off buggy software, DevOps ensures that manual testing is minimized, and automation is brought into the picture to remove bugs at the development stage itself. 

To implement this mindset, a range of tools and automation services is required. With DevOps, there is a plethora of tools that businesses can utilize in order to revolutionize their entire application development cycle. Ensuring that you select the right mix of tools later comes in handy when efficiency and time are at a premium.

  • Balancing the two segments of DevOps

Bringing together the right people to streamline both development and operations is what a major part of DevOps is. From the start, if the focus is on predestined ideas, then the project is bound to spiral. Understanding the team, and actually working together, instead of sticking to the traditional ways, is how the most value is derived out of DevOps.

  • Continuous processes and operations

DevOps truly brings the sense of the word ‘agile’ to software and application development. Continuous planning, integration, and delivery is what DevOps brings to the table, and frankly, this is a major part of what helps the concept turn the entire tables of application development. Focusing on bringing the team together at every step of the life cycle is what continuous planning is. Continuous integration is when your developers follow the best practices possible to create quality, error-free code. Ensuring the quality of the final product is done by continuous testing. Continuous monitoring finds use in performance and analytics measures. No matter the frequency of human interaction, or lack thereof, continuous monitoring is key to keeping the environment stable and working to its maximum efficiency. Continuous deployment brings all the aforementioned processes together and deploys all tested changes to the environment automatically. The word ‘continuous’ is key to all DevOps processes, as you may have figured out by now!

Challenges to application development with DevOps

As it turns out, there do exist a few minor issues that need to be taken care of when it comes to incorporating DevOps into the application development cycle. These challenges are more pronounced when it comes to mobile application development, as explained below.

  • Multiple target environments and multi-platform support makes it tough for developer teams to integrate DevOps principles into the app development cycle. For instance, the same application targeted towards both iOS and Android offers two completely different target environments.
  • Changes made in the DevOps continuous testing processes cannot actually be deployed instantaneously. As apps, specifically mobile apps, are downloaded through app stores, the processes of verification and review slow down the entire DevOps integration as a result.
  • With traditional app development models working on push deployment, mobile apps working on the pull model face issues in complete DevOps integration. This is due to the update process being related to user choice, and not forced on by the developers.

DevOps has certainly revolutionized how the application development lifecycle appears and functions. With continuous integration, testing, monitoring, and deployment, the entire cycle of code to market can be made faster and more efficient. Quality code and applications are almost a certainty since DevOps ensures that constant testing of products and applications takes place. With a few minor challenges left to be worked out, in the scope of mobile applications, DevOps is certainly one methodology that application development firms and organizations must deploy in order to compete with the ever-growing tech industry.

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