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June 17, 2023 - 8 minutes

DevOps: a Breakdown

DevOps is a widely embraced software development methodology about which all tech professionals should be informed. 

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DevOps & Cloud

What is DevOps? 

DevOps, short for Development and Operations, is a form of software development that combines software development (Dev) with information technology operations (Ops) to increase collaboration and improve efficiency in the software development process. The term was first coined by Patrick Debois in 2009 and has since become widely used by folks who work in IT and software development. DevOps aims to disrupt the barriers between development teams and operation teams and instead, through communication, integration, and automation, streamline the software delivery process. 

It’s important to understand DevOps as a methodology. It’s an umbrella term that refers to a culture, process, and mentality used to optimize and streamline software development. DevOps works to secure faster feedback loops, updates, and repairs during the software development process. The methodology has become increasingly popular in the software industry due to its ability to increase collaboration, advance software delivery, and improve the overall quality of software systems

Key principles of DevOps

The DevOps approach requires that developers and operations personnel collaborate closely, sharing responsibilities and tools, to create a stronger and more reliable software delivery. The key principles of DevOps include: 

  1. Collaboration: DevOps encourages collaboration between the developers and operation teams to achieve their shared software development goals. 

  2. Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD): the DevOps methodology promotes the use of automated testing and deployment processes in order to quickly and continuously integrate code changes, decreasing the time between software development and deployment. 

  3. Automation: DevOps encourages the automation of manual and repetitive tasks like building, testing, and delivering software. DevOps automation helps reduce errors, increases efficiency, and leads to enhanced reliability in the developing process. 

  4. Infrastructure as Code (IaC): DevOps utilizes code and configuration management tools in order to enable infrastructure setups to be version-controlled, reproducible, and easily scalable. 

  5. Monitoring and feedback: monitoring and feedback is a core component to the DevOps methodology. The continuous monitoring of applications and infrastructures is crucial in providing feedback loops that help identify errors, enhance performance, and improve user experience. 

These key components make up the base of the DevOps methodology. DevOps practices are gaining significant traction in the software industry because of the method’s promise to increase collaboration, advance software delivery, and improve the overall quality and dependability of software systems. 

What is a DevOps Engineer?

A DevOps engineer is a tech professional who straddles software development with expertise in IT operations and system administration. Their role is crucial in managing and implementing DevOps practices within an organization. DevOps engineers are necessary in bridging the gap between development teams and operation teams. They need strong technical skills as well as soft skills in order to facilitate collaboration, monitor the software system development processes, and enhance the delivery and dependability of software systems in a DevOps environment. 

The principal responsibility of a DevOps engineer is to support collaboration between development and operation teams and streamline the software development process. DevOps engineers work closely with development and operations teams as well as other stakeholders in the software development process in order to ensure the efficient delivery and operation of software systems. 

The role of DevOps engineer is to facilitate the DevOps methodology, meaning that their main work includes: 

  • Collaboration and communication: DevOps engineers need to have strong communication skills in order to facilitate collaboration between development and operations teams. Engineers must mediate knowledge sharing, support conflict resolution, and keep everyone aligned with the established goals and objectives. 

  • Continuous integration and delivery: is a crucial component of a DevOps engineer’s work. They must create and support the automated processes that aid continuous integration, software testing, and delivery. Their role in implementing and managing CI/CD pipelines is necessary in deploying reliable software updates. 

  • Infrastructure automation: DevOps engineers utilize infrastructure as code (IaC) tools and technologies in order to automate the configuration and management of infrastructure resources. This work includes the design and implementation of reliable and scalable infrastructure setups that adapt the various needs of the software systems. 

  • Performance optimization: is a crucial component of a DevOps engineer’s work. They must coordinate tracking and logging solutions to monitor the performance, availability, and security of software systems and infrastructures. DevOps engineers utilize this information to identify issues in order to optimize system performance and facilitate positive user experiences. 

  • Proficiency in DevOps tools: DevOps engineers must be well-versed in a variety of DevOps tools and technologies in order to be successful implementing the DevOps methodology. These tools include version control systems, CI/CD platforms, containerization technologies, configuration management tools, and cloud platforms like Azure, AWS, or GCP

  • Ongoing learning and adaptability: DevOps engineers must embrace the notion of continuous learning and improvement. This means they need to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, best practices, and technological advances. Being committed to ongoing learning and finding ways to adapt to constantly evolving software development practices will help DevOps engineers be successful in their work. 

In sum, DevOps engineers are multi-skilled professionals who must be proficient in soft skills like communication and team building, while also possessing strong technical skills that will allow them to optimize performance and ensure positive user experiences. DevOps engineers are skilled professionals who’s combined expertise in software development, operations, and automation support the streamlining of software development processes and ensure that strong, reliable software systems are delivered. 

What is DevOps Azure? 

DevOps Azure refers to the implementation of the DevOps methodology and tools within the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform. The platform offers a complete suite of cloud servers that allow organizations to construct, manage, and deploy applications and infrastructures in a streamlined and scalable manner. 

DevOps Azure brings together the key principles of DevOps with the additional tools and capabilities of Azure to enhance the software development process and maintain continuous integration, delivery, and deployment of software systems. Microsoft Azure offers a number of tools and services to aid the DevOps process, including: 

  1. Azure DevOps: Azure DevOps offers numerous development and collaboration tools that facilitate team planning, development, and testing in the software production process. Azure DevOps facilitates software delivery through features like version control, agile planning, continuous integration, and deployment management. 

  2. Azure Pipelines: is a continuous integration and delivery platform that facilitates automated build, test, and deployment processes for DevOps engineers. The feature enables teams to establish pipelines as code and automate the software delivery process from source code to production. 

  3. Azure Repos: is a DevOps tool that provides version control services to help manage source code repositories. Azure Repos supports both Git and Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC), enabling teams to collaborate, track changes, and securely manage code repositories. 

  4. Azure Artifacts: is a package management system that supports teams in creating, hosting, and sharing packages throughout their organization. The tool ensures consistent and dependable access to packages during the software development process. 

  5. Azure Monitor: provides monitoring and diagnostic services to applications and infrastructures constructed in Azure. The tool allows teams to collect and effectively analyze telemetry data, identify issues, and secure insights into the performance and availability of their software systems. 

  6. Azure Infrastructures as Code (IaC) tools: the application offers a number of tools like Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, Azure PowerShell, and Azure CLI that support the provisioning and management of infrastructure as code. These tools enable the automation and reliability of infrastructure deployments, facilitating the management and scare of Azure resources.  

Overall, DevOps Azure aids the software delivery process through offering numerous tools and services that help facilitate collaboration between teams, increase reliability and efficiency, and create dependable deployments of softwares. DevOps engineers should be well versed in the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform.

Securing a DevOps Certification

A DevOps certification is a way to formally recognize an individual’s knowledge, skills, and expertise in development and operations. A DevOps certification demonstrates one’s proficiency in applying DevOps methodologies, in utilizing DevOps tools and techniques, and in carrying out software development processes. Earning a certification may prove useful in the following ways: 

  • Certifications validate skills and knowledge of DevOps methods and best practices.

  • Possessing a certification increases one’s credibility and makes you a stronger job candidate. 

  • Grants recognition by employers as a strong DevOps tech professional. 

  • Occasionally leads to exclusive networking opportunities and tech communities. 

  • Increases opportunities to advance your career and secure DevOps engineer jobs.

DevOps certifications are granted by numerous organizations and training institutes after an individual completes a DevOps training program or demonstrates their proficiency in DevOps processes. A few of the most well-known DevOps certification programs include: 

  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer: the Amazon Web Services (AWS) certification confirms that an individual possesses the technical expertise to deploy and manage the AWS platform. Amazon explains that “job listings requiring this certification have increased by 52% between Oct 2021 and Sept 2022.”

  • Azure DevOps Engineer Expert: is a certification offered by Microsoft to demonstrate one’s proficiency in carrying out DevOps practices alongside Microsoft Azure technologies. The certification focuses on skills like continuous integration, continuous delivery, and infrastructure as code. 

  • DevOps Institute Certifications: the DevOps Institute is home to a variety of certifications including the DevOps Engineering Foundation, DevOps Leader, and DevOps Continuous Testing. Each exam verifies a specific aspect of a DevOps engineer’s work, including DevOps culture, leadership, automation, agile service, and continual testing and improvement. 

  • Google Cloud DevOps Engineer: the Google Cloud certification highlights one’s expertise in carrying out DevOps practices on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The credential covers everything from continuous integration, delivery, monitoring, and automation alongside GCP services.  

Earning a certification demonstrates one’s knowledge and mastery of DevOps practices and may be beneficial as you advance in your career as a DevOps engineer. 

In all, DevOps is a relevant aspect of the software development process and has become widely utilized by IT and software development professionals alike. Its focus on breaking down silos between development teams and operation teams has made it a successful methodology through the streamlining of operations and promotion of collaboration, integration, and automation in the software development process. 

If you’re interested in becoming a DevOps engineer or simply improving your DevOps skills, look no further! Ironhack offers DevOps bootcamps that will help you hone your soft and technical skills. 

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