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Best of TechBeacon 2020: DevOps

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Jaikumar Vijayan Freelance writer
 

In 2020, DevOps practices crossed the chasm from "early stage" and "experimental" to mainstream. For DevOps leaders and teams, the focus has been more on how to mature their programs than on figuring out ways to justify and get agile projects off the ground.

More organizations broke into the elite category of DevOps implementers, and there were more examples of best practices and metrics to draw upon for everyone.

Rather than just presenting DevOps challenges and fails, TechBeacon's best DevOps stories for 2020 examine the success that organizations have had with DevOps, the lessons that others can learn from them, the leadership and culture needed to succeed, how to measure success, and steps organizations can take to get agile right.

Best practices

10 companies killing it at DevOps in 2020

Many of the leading implementers of DevOps practices five years ago—including Netflix, Walmart, and Amazon—have gone on to become household names both within the tech community and in the consumer arena. In this report, freelance writer Christopher Null rounds up a list of 10 companies that are pushing the limits of DevOps practices and have emerged as clear leaders in the implementation of DevOps.

6 proven metrics for DevOps success

Many teams have a hard time demonstrating the value of DevOps practices to management because of a failure to use the right metrics. Figuring out the right measurements and knowing how to use them can have a big influence on DevOps transformation efforts. Here, Ann Marie Fred, DevOps and security lead at IBM, and Craig Cook, DevOps coach at IBM, identify six metrics that have worked for their team.

How agile teams can get DevOps right: 6 essential steps

Agile teams can often get off to a great start but then stumble along the way. The positive user feedback and progress that was evident in biweekly increments begin to fade, and suddenly defect lists start growing, testing takes longer, and velocity becomes erratic. Nate Berent-Spillson, technology principal at software development consultancy Nexient, explains the six steps that agile teams can take to get DevOps right. His recommendations include killing off manual practices, identifying code bottlenecks, and implementing test automation.

Leadership/culture

DevOps must-reads: 7 titles every practitioner should read

Upskilling has become a key requirement for career development in the IT industry. This is especially true in the talent-strapped DevOps space, where enterprises are actively investing in skills transformation programs for their current staff. Here, Jayne Groll, CEO of the DevOps Institute, lists seven must-read books for everyone interested in advancing their DevOps careers. The newly published books help readers deepen their understanding of DevOps challenges and cover a variety of topics, including software delivery, digital transformation, and digital disruption.

DevOps 100: Do ops like a boss. Follow these top pros

The best way to keep up with new DevOps developments is to pay attention to what the leaders in the space are doing, says freelance writer John P. Mello, Jr. in this lineup of the industry's 100 top DevOps leaders. Mello's list was assembled using feedback from the DevOps Enterprise Summit programming committee at IT Revolution. The list is organized into multiple categories, including noted authors, developer relations, next-generation operations, and open source.

Are poor team interactions killing your DevOps transformation?

The pandemic-triggered shift to a largely distributed workforce has exposed weaknesses in the way many organizations have defined teams and areas of focus for their DevOps efforts. For some, the lack of well-defined ways for team interaction in a remote-first world is threatening digital transformation efforts. Here Matthew Skelton, founder and head of consulting at training firm Conflux, and Manuel Pais, an independent IT organizational consultant, explain the risks organizations face when they fail to explicitly design communication among DevOps teams that are scattered across physical and online spaces.

Secure DevOps

Why injecting security into DevOps is a no-brainer

Despite heightened awareness of security issues, many DevOps teams are reluctant to integrate security into their processes because they perceive it as a roadblock to agile software development and delivery. In addition to concerns about security slowing down development, many software managers also continue to be unaware of how to integrate security into DevOps processes. In this cautionary report, Sridhar Jayaraman, vice president of engineering at digital transformation services provider Qentelli, highlights the dangers of not implementing a DevSecOps program.

Get security and compliance with DevSecOps: 4 key components

Security is only one aspect of DevSecOps. Compliance is the other. A good DevSecOps program embeds compliance policies, best practices, and tools into every phase of the development lifecycle. It will not only allow for better productivity, quality, and security, but also help all aspects of a compliance framework, says Andrew Davis, evangelist at Copado, which sells a value-stream platform for Salesforce. In this report, he outlines the four components that are key to building both security and compliance into a DevSecOps program.

3 best practices of the DevSecOps elite

Employee engagement and satisfaction can have a big impact on software security. The 2020 DevOps Community Survey found that happy developers tend to be more engaged with their work and tend to be more readily found in organizations with mature DevSecOps practices than in organizations with weak and immature practices. DJ Schleen, Senior Manager, Software Security at Rally Health, identifies three best practices of DevSecOps elites and explains why each trait matters.

Is DevOps fatigue next? Don't buy into the dogma

Implementing DevOps can be challenging. The many dead ends and wrong turns that DevOps teams often encounter along the way can be frustrating. To facilitate the transition from an established development practice—such as waterfall—to a more agile environment, DevOps leaders need to be patient, supportive, and understanding. Here, James Head, CEO and founder at Rebellion Consulting, offers helpful guidance on what organizations should do to avoid DevOps fatigue.

Trends

4 DevOps anti-patterns that lead to disaster

Demanding consistency in agile transformation efforts at all times can be counter-productive, says Thomas Stiehm, chief technology officer at Coveros, which provides agile and transformation products and services. The request for ever-present consistency might help address short-term issues but can lead to long-term pain and failure. In this article, Stiehm explains what anti-patterns are and why they are so sneaky and counter-productive. He lists four anti-patterns that are particularly problematic and offers tips on how DevOps leaders can fix each of them.

The top 5 DevOps trends: What being mainstream means to your team

Data from the 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report suggests that DevOps practices have gone mainstream. No longer attempting to justify and implement, DevOps leaders have begun focusing more on issues such as how to get more efficiencies out of once-experimental projects, how to bake in resilience, and how to make software delivery pipelines more compliant and safer. Freelance writer Ericka Chickowski identifies the top five trends now that DevOps has gone mainstream.

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