Digital business requires IT departments to show unprecedented responsiveness. Developing software and providing services very quickly becomes the daily mission of any information team to satisfy the wishes of users (company employees, collaborators, end customers).
In the face of systems that are growing in complexity and increasingly stringent expectations in terms of time-to-market, how do you create winning projects? The key to getting out of the critical situation passes through the implementation of Agile and DevOps techniques thanks to the support of an experienced partner such as Beta 80.
The frameworks for developing software quickly
The word “Agile” defines the methodologies for developing software according to an empirical and incremental approach, based on intermediate objectives and cycles of repeated events (sprints). Once the purpose of the project has been defined, we work on frequent releases containing an increase (a small improvement) of the project, progressing gradually to the finish line. Users can start using the new releases by providing feedback to developers, who can then correct the route in the course of work towards the final goal.
The collaboration between the project stakeholders must be maximum. DevOps practices prescribe a series of tools and best practices to organize work effectively and maximize the synergy between developers and operations. The establishment of cross-functional work tables, with detailed skills in specific fields, is the starting point for accelerating the way software is developed.
The Beta 80 method for developing software
Beta 80 offers an agile DevOps approach that allows customers to streamline the development process by providing different options and a personalized path. The goal is to develop value-added software, bringing new pockets of efficiency and business opportunities.
• The first service proposed is the implementation of the Agile Software Factory, which involves close collaboration between the interdisciplinary team of Beta 80, the internal IT department and the various corporate stakeholders. The team of consultants will allow the implementation of Agile DevOps practices within the company, bringing technical knowledge and methodological skills. Direct contact and integration with the reality of the client company will allow for the creation of applications that meet the needs of users, ensuring alignment between business and IT.
• The Beta 80 proposal also includes more traditional consultancy services: assessment, analysis and planning for application development or migration projects. In this case, the client will maintain full governance over the process, bringing together internal resources with multi-vendor development teams. The aim of Beta 80 professionals is to provide guidelines for an effective transformation plan, which not only allows the software to be developed in an agile way but also guarantees the transmission of a method. The DevOps guidelines will then be given for the planning and execution of activities, with the aim of promoting synergy between those who develop and use the applications, at all times during the entire software management process.
Any software development service has been designed to aligning business needs with application services: the customer is at the center and the entire development process is aimed at satisfying the needs of users. The DevOps framework provides the tool to achieve the full community of purpose and desired, contributing to the achievement of business objectives.
Beta 80 provides teams of multidisciplinary experts with advanced and certified knowledge of Microsoft and Java technologies, DevOps practices and tools, Scrum and other agile methodologies, Project Manager PMI, Prince2 and ITIL. The mix of methodological and technological skills will therefore allow the customer to obtain returns in a very short time, thanks to the experience and know-how of Beta 80 gained in over thirty years of IT consulting.
DevOps step by step: practical advice
Having clarified the skills and services offered by Beta 80 on the DevOps front, it is interesting to understand how to concretely develop the methodology, inserting it within the company context.
Since the transition to the new ways of working implies a personalized and tailored path, the first suggestion is to start with a detailed analysis to identify the main issues that currently hinder software development and distribution flows. From here we continue with the definition of measurable objectives both in the long and short term, to maintain a holistic view of the process and ensure continuous improvement, while obtaining the flexibility to correct the route if necessary.
Although the best way to approach DevOps is to be evaluated case by case, it is possible to identify some common good practices that allow companies to unravel the most frequent and complex difficulties. In fact, some capabilties and procedures should be implemented at a single team or organization level, requiring both specific tasks and the joint effort of all the professionals involved in the application development pipeline and lifecycle management.
Continuous delivery and continuous integration
The primary goal in adopting the DevOps approach is the acquisition of continuous delivery techniques, which allow you to proceed with the development of the software through very frequent incremental releases, mitigating the risk of failure and satisfying the needs of users.
The ability to automate test activities and trigger continuous integration through the use of specific platforms, contributes to both accelerating application delivery speed and improving code quality. Thanks to automated testing, developers can receive user feedback cyclically and continuously, then correct errors and integrate the changes made to the code in shared builds available to all teams.
Cloud native development techniques
The use of modern or cloud-native development techniques, such as microservices architectures, containers and APIs (Application Programming Interface), can help accelerate releases with a view to continuous delivery, favoring the organization of work in specialized teams and a collaboration logic.
Through the API, programmers can save time and resources by reusing and connecting code developed by third parties within their projects.
Containerization techniques make complete runtime environments available to developers, which can be transferred, together with the applications they host, from one environment to another and between multiple clouds. Basically, containerized software runs independently of the underlying hardware infrastructure, ensuring portability and saving programmers the burden of making code changes depending on the target environment. Furthermore, the orchestration platforms allow the automation and optimize the management of containers, simplifying the activities of application distribution.
Finally, microservices architectures conceive software as a set of individual independent functional units, which, during the modification phase, do not compromise the overall functioning of the application. Each function can, therefore, be programmed, modified, and managed by small teams of specialists who work in parallel and in synergy.
Managing the change
Unfortunately, the collaborative approach to software development cannot be solved and implemented only through the use of operational best practices and development technologies. In fact, a leap in mentality becomes indispensable for those who produce and use the applications: they need the will to exchange opinions, share a language and work towards common objectives, also getting used to new organizational methods that involve short and iterative cycles of activities, without losing strategic purposes in view. This is why we need to define a structured and coherent change management plan, extended to the entire organization.
A partner like Beta 80 can help any company acquire the right skills and methodologies to implement the DevOps logic, promoting both technological and cultural evolution.