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3 August 2023 - 5 minutes

The Role of DevOps in Web Development

Find out how DevOps and web development intersect in their projects!

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The world wide web is more than just a world; it’s a vast universe that provides users with millions of websites and applications with limitless possibilities. To create all of this content and software, web developers need to collaborate efficiently and quickly to respond to any necessary modifications and continue building and maintaining their products.

Web developers have many methodologies to create the best product possible and one of those methods guarantees efficiency throughout the process of not only building and designing sites, but also maintaining and updating them continuously. Once software has been developed, web development teams also have the responsibility to improve upon and update their work. But what does this have to do with DevOps? Let’s check it out.

What is DevOps?

The word DevOps is composed of two words: development and operations. They are both two parts of a complete set of practices that guide and assist software developers in their design and maintenance process. 

There are two teams that collaborate to carry these out:

  • Development team: this group of programmers focuses on building, designing, and coding the software, testing and improving the code as needed. 

  • Operations team: unlike the development team, the operations team works on deployment, maintenance, and troubleshooting the infrastructure of the product.

Development and operations teams sometimes work separately on their respective duties, but DevOps practices entail consistent communication. Since they are not siloed, they are fully aware of what the other team is tasked with at all times. Along with the help of automation, the two teams are constantly investing their time in developing and improving their product in a continuous deployment and integration pipeline. 

The DevOps lifecycle is also an important aspect of their management style that shows how both teams are both collaborating and working independently. Representing its continuous nature, the DevOps lifecycle takes on the shape of an infinity loop. On one side of the loop, the development team plans, discovers, builds, and tests; on the other side, the operations team deploys, operates, observes, and provides continuous feedback.

By leveraging the DevOps lifecycle, DevOps teams engage in a continuous deployment and continuous integration pipeline.

What is Web Development?

Every website or application with which you interact relies on web developers carrying out a lot of coding and designing. When designing web pages and applications, they use two types of web development: front end development and back end development; however a third type of development exists called full stack development.

Front end development

When users interact with a website or application, they are directly making contact with front end developed code. Front end developers write the code for all the visible and clickable aspects of pages and must use the following codes:

  • HTML

  • JavaScript

  • CSS3

Back end development

Where front end entails all the visible and clickable aspects, back end development is the opposite: everything with which the user can’t directly interact. The back end is the server side where data is stored and is just as important as the front end although users don’t see it. The following languages are necessary for back end developers:

  • PHP

  • Python

  • .Net

  • Ruby

Other essential skills include expertise with one or several of the following database technologies:

  • Oracle

  • MySQL

  • Microsoft SQL Server

Although these two types of development are necessary to create a website, there are developers that work on a third type of development.

Full stack development

Why do just one or the other when you can do both? Full stack developers are trained to do both back and front end development; with a variety of skills, they are very versatile and adaptable. 

What Responsibilities do DevOps Engineers Have?

When you’re a DevOps engineer, you have a lot to keep in mind in terms of your responsibilities since these duties will be all-encompassing. You must know how to take on both development and operations teams’ responsibilities; the development side consists of the following duties:

  • Coding: developers have to know how to code to create and design their current product.

  • Test: ensuring that the code is working as it should is crucial in the developer’s process; although they normally set up automated systems to carry them out, developers still need to check up on them.

  • Plan: a great amount of planning is necessary to make the best product possible and developers need to create a plan for the product and the full process.

  • Review: the code that developers are writing for their projects doesn’t just statically stay there; they need to build upon it and review it to keep improving their code throughout the process.

The operations team has very different duties that they must carry out; said duties include:

  • Deployment: when the product is released, the operations team ensures that the product is working as planned. 

  • Operation: the product has been deployed and as the product is live, the IT team focuses on providing the services promised to clients. 

  • Monitor: if there are any problems that arise post-deployment, the IT team must take note of them and attempt to resolve them, if possible.

  • Feedback: anything that the operations team encounters or has been told by clients must be returned back to the development team so that they can improve the product.

Although they normally operate as separate teams that collaborate, DevOps engineers bring the two worlds together as a nexus and their duties truly depend on where they are working and what the team needs from them. Nevertheless, engineering, infrastructure mapping, DevOps knowledge and advocacy and system maintenance are other skills that will likely be necessary for a DevOps engineer.

How do DevOps and Web Development Differ?

It is easy to contrast DevOps and web development, since DevOps is a set of practices that software development teams use to design the best product possible and keep improving it in continuous loops; web development is the process of creating web pages and applications. To put it simply, one is a methodology and the other is a field of study.

A web development team may decide to adopt DevOps as their methodology for their product and that would be simply one of the strategies that they employ for their teams, along with agile, scrum, waterfall, or lean. It all depends on which one is the most appropriate for the team and even the individual project.

How do Web Developers and DevOps Engineers Work Together?

There are several ways for project managers to manage their teams and most use a mixture of methodologies to find the right balance for what will best fit. When DevOps engineers are working alongside web developers, they are not only taking on assisting in both developmental and operational tasks, but also they are advocating and leading teams in DevOps.

DevOps for web development is the same as what other DevOps-led teams employ: the DevOps lifecycle and communication and collaboration between the two teams to create a continuous deployment and integration pipeline; however, web development teams are usually more focused on the development part of the process. As a result, web developers will need to be put into teams that DevOps engineers help facilitate and organize. 

DevOps engineers usually head project management of teams of web developers, although this will always be dependent upon the project and what it requires. DevOps engineers would also develop automated processes that assist in testing and completing the project as web developers mostly focus on the creating, reviewing, and maintenance. DevOps for web developers is possible and all boils down to strong leadership.

In the tech world, web development and DevOps are integral parts of project management: one is the methodology and the other the process of creating the product. Web development is a basic necessity nowadays, but DevOps is just one of many methodologies, although it is becoming more and more popular. 

If you would like to work as a web developer or even learn relevant skills to become a DevOps engineer, the best route would be an Ironhack bootcamp, like our Web Development Bootcamp. Check it out here!

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