How to Implement DevOps Practices to Ensure Continuous Delivery

    DevOps promotes using automated tools to speed up development, testing, and deployment processes. The process also prioritizes deployability and makes code updates visible to teams and users so they can address issues early.

    Collaboration between designers and operations employees is a critical component of DevOps. This reduces downtime, speeds up releases, and helps prevent technical debt.

    Continuous Integration

    A critical DevOps practice is continuous integration (CI). This means regularly integrating code changes with the existing codebase to create a build. This is a core process for building software and ensures it works as expected in a production environment.

    When an engineer commits to a repository, it triggers a build. Typically, a build can be automated automatically after every code change to minimize the time between code changes and deployments.

    Continuous deployment enables code delivery to the production environment when ready for release. This can be done with an automated pipeline that takes a validated build from CI and deploys it to a production environment. This approach aims to provide a seamless transition between development and production environments so teams can release customer features faster.

    Continuous Deployment

    Continuous delivery and deployment are essential to DevOps as they allow for faster releases of code updates. These releases are tested and verified in a production environment to meet business requirements. They also help improve communication between development and operations teams.

    After a developer merges their changes, they are automatically deployed to the production environment. This process removes the need for manual approval and automates the release. Continuous deployment allows developers to release code changes more frequently, speeding up the customer feedback loop.

    Combined with continuous integration, these processes, like in DevOps Boston, create a pipeline that automatically moves code from individual developer machines through automated testing and into production. This approach allows teams to release new features more often, which enhances the user experience and increases revenue. To monitor these workflows, companies can use a whole stack observability platform to understand why problems occur in real time and quickly fix them.

    Continuous Testing

    Continuous testing is an essential DevOps practice that ensures continuous delivery. It involves regularly deploying code to a staging environment for testing and validation. This enables developers to discover and fix errors early on, and it also helps reduce unexpected problems in production.

    With continuous deployment, any change that passes automated tests can be released automatically to end users. This allows you to release daily, weekly, fortnightly, or more frequently. It also helps reduce the risk of human error during the release process, which can delay a release and cause customer delays.

    It’s important to remember that implementing continuous delivery isn’t just about adopting the right tools and processes; it’s continuous improvement work led by a shared vision of customer outcomes. It requires close collaboration between software development and IT operations teams, which may require significant cultural changes. To help facilitate this, completing a value stream mapping exercise and developing a standard set of tools that connect each team within the deployment pipeline is recommended.

    Continuous Feedback

    DevOps teams rely on practical tools to help them deliver and innovate for customers. These tools should automate manual tasks, streamline workflows and keep teams on track with schedule planning and task management.

    CI and CD are essential DevOps practices that help to speed up software development by automatically deploying code changes into production. These continuous deployments can also identify bugs and fix them before they can affect customers.

    However, many organizations still need help with many software change failures in production. According to the 2021 State of DevOps Report, most organizations have a change failure rate of over 16%. These frequent failures can cause outages, impact user experience and lead to expensive remediation efforts for the organization. The key to reducing these issues is providing actionable feedback from all sources in production, such as logs, traces, monitoring, and alerts. Tools like a full-stack observability platform can provide teams with this information and ensure they have the correct information to make decisions and take swift action.

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