According to the Data Bridge Market forecast, the DevOps market will grow at a CAGR of 22.16% between 2020 to 2027. The DevOps market offers a wide range of operational tools that will help you optimize the software development life cycle.
DevOps is a cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration, automation, and measurement. As a result, a DevOps approach helps companies deliver improved operating efficiency, happier teams, and better software products in less time with fewer resources.
However, for DevOps teams to thrive, they need the right tools. This article examines the factors and features you need to consider when choosing a DevOps tool for your team.
Key Considerations Before Choosing DevOps Tools
A report from the DevOps Research and Assessment team (DORA) shows that informed software development decisions lead to better continuous delivery and performance.
So, what should you consider when picking a DevOps tool? There are several factors to consider here. They include your team’s tech stack, the size of the team, hosting location, language, and more.
What Tech Stack Are You Working With?
When picking a tool for DevOps, you absolutely must consider your team’s tech stack. This is a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many IT teams fail to follow this step. Ask yourself, Is it a tool they are familiar with? Does it have a steep learning curve? Do you need to hire a new developer familiar with the tool? Does it integrate seamlessly with other tools in your stack? Otherwise, selecting even the best tools without considering the ease of use for your developers and the training required will lead to problems down the line.
What Language Are You Using?
Programming languages play a big role in any application development. It is the same with DevOps. Since some tools may also come with support for several scripting languages, you need to consider whether you require a tool with extensive scripting knowledge of a particular language and if your team can code in it.
What’s Your Team Size?
Your team’s size plays a big role when you want to consider tools for DevOps. If you have a small DevOps team, automating some of your operations may prove helpful. Also, if you have a bigger team, you may need tools to manage the entire development life cycle and your DevOps teams for better collaboration.
What's Your Release Velocity Goals?
It’s essential to pick out a tool that readily satisfies your DevOps lifecycle speed. You have to take advantage of tools that offer increased release velocity, increased release velocity, greater agility during development, and the opportunity to reduce developer workload to tackle more innovative activities.
Where Are You Hosting? Cloud, Private Cloud, on-Prem/ Hybrid?
Regardless of where you are hosting your application, you will want to pick a tool that matches what you already have. Is the tool cloud-native, or is it only applicable on-premise? On the other hand, hybrid hosting options may be a more attractive option for some DevOps teams depending on their particular needs.
What Is Your Content Publishing Lifecycle?
Another factor to consider before choosing a DevOps tool for your team is the rate at which your content teams publish content to CMS-backed software applications. You should ensure to have tools that allow frequent and continuous content publishing and delivery in parallel with software feature development and without constraints.
Best Practices To Choose The Right Tools for Your Team
Use Tools To Foster Collaboration
Collaboration is the cornerstone of every great team. You need to have highly effective collaboration and planning tools for your team. It isn’t just enough to pick one tool and go with it. However, integration between tools in your DevOps toolchain along with automation for some of the processes can be highly valuable.
You should employ collaboration tools that will help your team share ideas, brainstorm, plan, organize, and track progress in all your operations. Several DevOps tools are available for your team to collaborate, plan, develop, test, and deploy applications. Having a clear strategy that satisfies your business objectives helps.
Leverage Tools To Capture Every Request
A modern software development process requires highly automated yet customizable tools. This means that your team should consider tools that provide API access to capture or make changes to the software. API-driven tools also let you configure alerts and other changes easily.
Plus, business and DevOps teams will also need tools to request and submit changes for better operational efficiency. DevOps makes it possible for you to automate the process of accepting any changes from either team. To do this, you should lean toward tools that integrate seamlessly with others and permit you to capture requests and make changes to suit your needs.
Use Agile Project Management
As we know, an agile development framework leads to improved productivity. Agile plays a key role in DevOps. Kanban helps to implement this framework by matching your team’s ability and capacity to its workflow. It combines and manages different workflows such as development, building, testing, deploying, and monitoring.
Kanban helps you organize and separate work into relatively smaller tasks so as not to overwhelm yourself. Essentially, by following agile methodologies, your teams can plan more effectively and deliver faster and maintain focus and transparency during development. This makes agile development tools a must-have to manage and organize your team’s DevOps workflow.
Don’t Forget To Automate
Automation is a significant benefit of DevOps. Automation helps reduce human involvement, thereby reducing errors within your development process. You can continuously test, patch, and fix issues within your code.
Automating your testing process will reduce the number of errors you’ll need to fix. However, this doesn’t only pertain to testing. Automating your entire DevOps pipeline will also help you improve productivity and efficiency.
DevOps tools provide reports and dashboards to monitor all development activities and events. Before setting out to pick a tool, you should define the metrics you need to observe and the processes that require automation. Metrics to consider can include deployment speed, build time, and testing errors.
Implement Test Automation
Implementing test automation is a must for DevOps teams. Test automation goes beyond automating testing; It means making sure your code and data pass through standard testing routines to ensure the highest level of quality.
In essence, continuous testing involves you placing your code in a sandbox and running several tests on it with your test data. If the code passes testing, it’s passed down to the following significant DevOps process; otherwise, the developer will have to go through it again.
Ensure Continuous Feedback
With continuous feedback, you can get a better insight into what your users think and how to build on it right away. To gather feedback on your new releases, you can integrate tools that provide and manage surveys, customer service, and real-time chat methods. It will hugely assist you in understanding the necessary changes you need to make.
You can also receive bug report feedback that helps you identify issues and improve performance. The use of continuous feedback tools is critical for every DevOps team. By doing so, it helps you keep a close eye on every operation.
Building Your DevOps Toolchain
Essentially, software toolchains in every company are a set of tools for managing and delivering a better software application. It is not just a single tool; it is a combination of tools throughout the software development life cycle.
According to BMC, the DevOps toolchain is defined as “a combination of the most effective tools for developing, delivering and maintaining software according to agile principles.” These tools are coordinated to follow the DevOps practices of the organization.
These are version control tools that help you keep manage and keep track of changes in your code. Examples include Github, Gitlab and Bitbucket. For CMS-backed software applications, consider Git-based CMSs that allow for management of both code and content, and support for collaborative DevContentOps processes.
Build tools help you automate your build process. Maven and Ansible are examples of build tools to consider.
These tools help you maximize efficiency by automating and managing deployments. Jenkins and AWS CodeDeploy are examples of release tools.
These tools will continuously monitor your project and notify you of any vulnerabilities. AWS CloudWatch, Google Analytics, and Azure Monitor are prime examples of these.
Jira and Trello are tools you can use to plan, manage, and organize your projects.
Read More about DevOps tools here: Core DevOps Tools to Consider
Simplify The Process of Selecting Your DevOps Tools
The goal of DevOps is to provide developer and operations teams with the right tools to increase their productivity, speed up performance, and reduce deployment time. How do you do this? The answer is simple: pick the right tools.
However, that’s easier said than done because each organization has different DevOps objectives and requirements, which will vary depending on the company's structure, operations, and environment. Focus on building a DevOps toolchain that’s not so large that it becomes unwieldy.
Too many tools won’t help you; on the contrary, they will add distractions and bloated lifecycles. Keep your DevOps lifecycle simple and avoid redundant tools that do the same things. Choose particular tools with specific uses that fit your development style and ensure that every tool at your disposal can integrate with one another.