Three stages which startup goes through while adopting DevOps
DevOps is definitely the way IT industry is evolving, but many companies are still confused if it is the right time for them to adopt it, and this question is most common among startups. It’s wrong to assume that only large companies can benefit from DevOps. Whether you are an organization of the size of Google or a few members tech startup, DevOps is now a way of business and ignoring it can make or break a company of any size. The way DevOps is adopted in startups is completely different than how it happens in enterprises.
So what is DevOps? Well, much like the name states, it is a union of Developers and IT Operations. It is a collection of best practices and a culture that emphasizes automation and collaboration.
Not adapting DevOps in your technology projects, will not only cause the delay in your releases but will also lower your productivity. The earlier you adopt DevOps it will be easier. The longer is the wait, the more effort it would require to re-work DevOps in your workflow.
If you are building a startup, this kind of speed and iteration is very important. When you are developing software for a particular customer, you must determine which features are valuable to them as quickly as possible. Without this strategy, the tasks can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Getting the process automated helps the features to move quickly into production, which allows them to be tested and validated quickly, this helps in faster response time to your customers.
In this first phase, the development team often adopts Agile as a way to quickly iterate on the development process. While initially, there isn’t really much to release to potential customers. This helps to keep the product requirements to the point and the team on-track to deliver a small piece of functionality quickly and securely.
Often the development team is sitting side-by-side cranking out code quickly. No specifications, just a list of what needs to be done and it will be stored in some tracking system.
There is a little formal process at most startups. Things are evolving and moving so quickly that there just isn’t time. The goal, after all, is to get a product into the market as soon as possible. While startups are high adopters of agile as a development methodology, there is generally little rigor in its implementation. There isn’t a well-developed end-to-end product release process. In the small teams like startups, it is quite often that the developers who are building the product are also handling the operations.
The tools might include infrastructure providers like AWS, Rackspace, or Azure to configuration automation tools such as Chef or Puppet. Once they launch the product, they might also look towards monitoring tools to help them get visibility into their product. As things progress, the developer would need the test environment quickly and repeatedly. The underlying pattern would be to move fast, solve problems, and quickly get to the market.
While tools are hardly a complete DevOps methodology, they are the catalyst for the next step in a startup’s journey to adopt DevOps. Many of the tools chosen in this first period have APIs, can create automation, and are highly configurable. As a startup keeps moving forward and increasing their users, the flexibility of these tools and the various ways that the developers utilize them start to drive some conversation around the process.
The growth of a startup starts to create the desire to add control, accountability, and define the product development process. Agile now starts to extend up and down the organization in a more rigorous way. DevOps is starting to take hold and become more fully formed.
The early stage DevOps life-cycle wraps up with it becoming a part of the Culture. Now, methodology becomes the fundamental part of the business. Values such as agility, customer focus, rapid iteration become core principles of the company. Hiring is made based on whether the candidates match the philosophy and culture of the company. DevOps not only becomes the culture of the company but a competitive advantage in fulfilling its mission to its stakeholders.