The DevOps hangover
By Cat Yong
“There is a DevOps hangover, because we are using that term too much,” he explained, adding that DevOps had been a great initial thought, but currently has become misused. “It is not (a term) for everything.”
According to the veteran in application development and performance, DevOps talks about taking what was learnt in the development environment, and applying it in a startup environment.
All this is fine and dandy, until practitioners tried to scale it for large organisations.
“There are hierarchies that are challenging in large organisations. It is nothing to do with the tools that are used to implement DevOps, but rather a movement about collaboration, monitoring/measurement and sharing.
“The tools are just supporting this mentality,” said Grabner.
For example, PurePath is the core technology in Dynatrace’s application monitoring solution (APM), that offers visibility into the execution path of applications, all the way from how it is being used to how it is being deployed.
Grabner explained, “It captures information that makes sense to business folks, but it also makes sense to developers, because it goes deep down to the things that devs care about – features of code.”
Probably best described as a general philosophy during an app’s development stage, it is an evolution from the traditional waterfall method of development.
Grabner opined, “For me, DevOps is basically (best) for small startups, where there are no communications boundaries and the organisation is very agile.”
Building great applications also require a few more key ingredients – organisations should know about how to build scalability for their online services.
“They need to know about best practices in the areas of usability, user experience, scalability, and Web performance optimisation (WPO).”
Lean and focused software
Grabner also cited the example of a company that launched a marketing campaign and did not foresee it going viral. Needless to say, the app and underlying infrastructure, were not built to handle the load and broke down.
“Loss of conversion and bad reviews are detrimental for small to medium set ups, because getting new customers is more difficult and expensive,” he pointed out the issue of bad app planning, for SMEs.
The industry is also “fixated” on just building features, and sometimes forget to do the reverse.
“You need to take things out that are not used anymore, to make it leaner, smaller and more efficient. So, you use less engineering power on maintaining the stuff you don’t need anyway,” said Grabner.
He concluded that what DevOps really is to build better software faster.
“That means enforcing communication and collaboration, including feedback loops. Last but not least also, to have the balls to take things (you don’t need) out.”