Why DevOps? - Understanding DevOps

DevOps is one of the most trending topics in IT industry for quite a while. Everyone seems to know tits and bits about it but not what is DevOps. So in this article, efforts have been made to explain the concept of DevOps, so next time when someone asks you about it, you can speak confidently about it. Though DevOps is not a new terminology it has recently gained so much popularity that everyone is trying to understand and know more about it. As its gaining popularity, there are so many confusions among the

I have been working in DevOps environment for the past 4 years and it is one of the very interesting concepts and there is no end to its learning. Every day I look forward to learning something new.

A few weeks back, after my work, as I was returning home from my workplace. I got into the cab that was allocated to me by the transport admins. I was waiting for the cab to move when another girl got inside the cab gasping. We smiled at each other and exchanged greetings. We talked about our work and project when somehow the topic of DevOps popped up. She said she was very eager to learn this new technology DevOps as it's very demanding in the market now. Her friend had told her to install DevOps in her system and start learning about it. That's when I stopped her and asked installed DevOps? She said yeah, her friend is working in this DevOps and had asked her to install it. That is when I told her that the DevOps that I know you don't have to install, DevOps is not a technology in itself but is a methodology similar to Agile.

This was not my first-experience, there have been many occasions where people had wrong notion about the whole concept of DevOps. So here it goes,

What is DevOps

Why did we need DevOps? A very popular saying goes like this "Necessity is the mother of invention". We being humans always want things to be better and faster. That's where the need for DevOps came into the picture. Before DevOps, the developers and operation team did not work in collaboration. The developers had to sometimes wait for months or years for his changes to get deployed into production and then it was an overhead for the developers to work on any bug that came up in the production environment because the code deployed was ages old. Operation guys had a tough time as they could not directly communicate with the developers, they would have a hard time telling the developers that their code didn't work properly in the production environment while the developers claimed that it worked fine on their local machine. Sometimes the blame game would go on for weeks before it could get resolved.

Now it didn't make any sense either that the changes that you are making are getting deployed in production after months. That's where DevOps comes into the picture. DevOps is the collaboration between the developers and the operations team. Hence the word DevOps. They work together, and there is no blame game over here. Everything is owned by everyone. There are many tools that are available in the market that makes this possible like CI Tools.

The codes are managed in a repository like Perforce, SVN, PTC INtegrity, GIT etc. So when the developers make any changes to the code it is checked in into the repository which in turn will trigger the build. If the build is successful it will get deployed into prod like environments. If no issues occur then it's deployed into the production environment. THis is a continuous integration. Below is the process flow:

1. Developer will check in the code
2. SCM Polling will trigger the build
3. The successful build is deployed into production like environments
4. This code is tested for any bugs and issues and then released into the production environment.

Above mentioned steps is a simpler version of what actually happens though in reality there are many technical steps that are taken. But to begin with, these are the basic steps that we need to understand. All these happen in cycles. There is continuous development, build and deployment.

Because of continuous integration, quality code reaches the market in a better and faster manner. So in short DevOps is a collaboration of developers and operation guys with the help of tools that are available in the market.


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