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The old adage, “teamwork makes the dream work,” definitely applies to engineering.
Teams that don’t work together are getting left behind by teams that do. The successful modern development teams value agility, collaboration, and a constant eye toward the end user experience.
If your team is missing deadlines, working in silos, and more concerned with the process than the end results, your development culture may be broken.
There’s no simple fix to cultural problems. But there are technology solutions that help you better identify problems and create systems and processes that could be the solution.
Microsoft’s Azure DevOps is a system that might hold this ability.
With a wide range of DevOps tools suited for organizations of all sizes, Microsoft’s ALM is more than just window dressing for the engineering workflow. It makes implementing DevOps best practices easier — which is one way to create a healthier culture and more effective engineering teams.
In fact, teams that have embraced DevOps have seen massive improvements in speed, efficiency, and quality of work. A study from Google found that teams that perform the best using DevOps have 208 times more frequent code deployments and only 1/7th the change failure rate compared to low performing teams.
So, if DevOps can help your team do better work more quickly and with less hassle, then you need tools and systems that help you implement and adhere to those practices.
This is how Azure DevOps can help.
DevOps, at its most basic, is a union of the development and operations teams. Rather than keeping them siloed from one another, it combines the people, process, and products, and promotes collaboration between multidisciplinary teams to share work and tools. This paves the way for modern development practices like agile planning, continuous integration, continuous delivery, and close monitoring of applications, always with an eye toward continuously delivering value to the end user.
For this post, we aren’t going to unpack all of the specific, functional elements of executing DevOps. It’s been covered in detail by many other guides, including the one written by Microsoft.
But, DevOps isn’t just a matter of practice. It’s cultural.
So let’s dig in there.
If you’re implementing DevOps practices, chances are that you’re looking for a new and better way to manage your team’s engineering efforts. But the practices are only the first step.
Step two in the journey is promoting DevOps culture, which stresses having small, multidisciplinary teams that can work both autonomously and collaboratively with other teams.
DevOps teams are hyper-focused on making the customers’ actual experiences better, which means they take collective accountability for how the end user experiences the software they create.
This means there are no silos. If something fails, the entire organization shoulders the blame and works to correct it.
There are a couple of important values in DevOps culture:
There’s a reason DevOps has become one of the most sweeping trends in software development over the last several years. With a small group made of talented, multidisciplinary people collaborating together, DevOps teams can work quickly and innovate on the fly.
If you need more proof why DevOps is the future of software development, just look at a few of the numbers from Puppet’s annual State of DevOps report. It found that organizations that have implemented DevOps see:
If you’ve seen enough to be convinced that implementing DevOps in your organization is the right path forward, Azure DevOps products are the perfect place to start.
No matter your organization’s goals in implementing DevOps, Azure DevOps and its suite of ALM products may be a simple solution. With more than 100 different tools that help your teams build, deploy, and manage applications (in the cloud, onsite, and on the edge), the software simplifies the process of implementing DevOps and can help greatly improve your development culture.
Consider all of the DevOps application lifestyle phases, and the ways Azure DevOps tools can enable your teams to provide continuous end user value throughout each stage.
Image source: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/solutions/devops/
In the planning phase, teams need to be able to move with agility and have full visibility across every project and product they’re creating.
In the development phase, teams can use tools like:
In the delivery phase, there are even more Azure tools that can help DevOps teams do their work.
And finally, in the operations phase, there are tools like:
These are just some tools Azure offers that a DevOps team can take advantage of. But not every team will use the exact same tools, especially considering how many different DevOps tools Azure offers. To use Azure DevOps to reach your team’s full DevOps potential, you’ll want to look at this shift from a higher level.
These best practices are the way the best DevOps teams take advantage of Azure DevOps tools. But keep in mind that there’s not necessarily a perfect Azure tool for each goal. You’ll want to think about how to best meet each of these goals with your teams, and then use the Azure tools that make the most sense based on your team’s needs and expertise.
The shift to DevOps is all about fixing your broken development culture, right? So lean in to DevOps culture by encouraging collaboration and teamwork and fostering an environment of shared responsibility for everything your team produces.
Azure DevOps is made to integrate with a ton of different tools your team may already use for every part of the development process—sharing code, getting rid of silos, testing applications, integration, deployment, and more. Choose the Azure DevOps tools for each step that address your team’s needs and take advantage of their expertise.
Getting the most out of the Microsoft stack means utilizing infrastructure as code with microservices and containers, so your team can innovate constantly. This will help keep your team agile and able to make changes to meet customer demands as quickly as possible.
A big advantage DevOps teams have over traditional IT teams is their use of automation. DevOps teams should automate testing, integration, deployment, and monitoring to ensure continuous delivery and consistency in results.
Implementing DevOps not only makes teams more productive, more efficient, and more collaborative, but it welcomes a completely new culture into your organization—one that adds value to every member across every team.
Azure DevOps offers all the tools you need to start implementing DevOps, but it’s up to you to discover which ones will be the best fit for your teams. Start with small changes, and use each DevOps success to drive the organization forward. Chances are your team will thank you.
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