As I don my smoking jacket and hang a pipe from the corner of my mouth, like the grumpy old techie that I am, feel free to pull up a chair, sofa, cushion, or rusty park bench, and listen to my rants – oh, and hear about the awesome work Azure are doing to fix things!
You have most likely heard the term DevOps at some point in the past few years; maybe in an article like this, on the twitters, at work, or at a conference.
Chances are what you actually heard about was "environment automation" and not "DevOps"; unfortunately, shortly after it was made popular in the late 00s recruiters grabbed on to this catchy term and applied it to the main tangible skillset in the whole process that is DevOps, which wasn't already covered by a catchy job title.
This is why you end up working in places where there is a "DevOps Team", which is the complete opposite of what DevOps meant originally!
DevOps used to describe everyone working collaboratively to identify the entire process - from having an idea through to understanding if that idea was a success - and removing bottlenecks in that process.
However, for many software houses, the main bottleneck seemed to be pre-production environments, and the ability to create new ones for testing and developing on.
Here is where I inhale deeply and look each and every one of you in the eye, seeing that you still have the sparkle of optimism and youth, and I smile.
Worry not! The good people of Azure have started to use the term slightly more accurately and are offering a family of connected products under the sizable DevOps umbrella to enable end-to-end tracking and - where necessary - automation to help businesses understand the time and cost associated with every feature, change, and bug in their process.
Sound a little familiar? Up until recently this set of goodies would have been called Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), but since it works just fine with development environments other than Visual Studio and is all living up in Azure, it's now called - fanfare please - Azure DevOps!
If you’re not a fan of the Cloud or have particular requirements, you can still run Team Foundation Server (TFS) on-premises.
They've got developers covered with unlimited private git repos and test automation.
They've got ops covered with CI/CD via Azure Pipelines and consistent applications via Azure artifacts.
They've also added in agile development tooling to allow collaboration and visibilty of features moving through the entire process - from idea, through build, test, and deploy, all the way out the other end.
If you're familiar with Jira or Trello then you'll feel right at home with these boards, especially since they're hooked into all the other systems, such as issues raised against a git repo through to slow pipelines and poor test automation coverage.
I hang my smoking jacket up and tap my pipe to ditch the smoldering remains of my grumpiness into the fireplace. Thanks to Azure, "DevOps" is no longer synonymous with "environment automation". It's not quite the original meaning, but there's no reason Azure DevOps can't be expanded upon to cover all those missing sections.
Have a look yourself, and see what wonders await - drink the real DevOps Kool Aid and bring continuous benefits to your team! Ohhh YEAH!
Exciting times, friends!
Thanks for another great roundup Robin!
Are you thinking about transforming your software development lifecycle? You might not be surprised to find out that we can help you with Azure DevOps training!
Give us a ring on 020 3137 3920 to find out how we can help you learn the principles behind DevOps, as well as the right tools for the job.