Could DevOps be used to improve software development for the cloud?

Imagine for a second that it was possible for designers and idealists to work alongside machinists and engineers in the production of some product.  In theory, this would allow both camps of individuals to get a better glimpse of what the finished product would look like, how it would function, and/or gain insight into any problems that might surface.  For a field like automobile manufacture or aerospace engineering, this notion is more or less impossible, of course.  But what about software development, doesn’t it afford its practitioners with more than a few perks – up-to and including great forms of “continuous integration”?

If you’re not familiar with the term “continuous integration” it is simply the notion that, while working on a particular software project, developers can compile their work (for universal access and knowledge purposes).  The point is – everyone’s findings, creations, issues, ideas and concerns can be dealt with in the short-term; which allows the group to capitalize on their combined knowledge and observations.  Likewise, by addressing arising problems immediately, serious setbacks, risks, and losses can also be avoided, which ensures the ultimate success of the venture in its aims.

What in the world does this have to do with DevOps and Cloud Computing?  In short, DevOps can be seen as a methodology that’s based on a new form of continuous integration.  In the case of DevOps, (software) developers and operational staff are united under a common goal – to enhance communication so that better software can be produced at a faster rate.

Now, take a look at the world of Cloud Computing.  Sure, it is growing in terms of importance and lifecycle development, but it is a field that is fraught with challenges and obstacles.  For starters, there’s the notion of lack of required software solutions; one could argue that we aren’t producing enough cloud specialists or individuals who have the skills required to create software for the platform itself.  Take the extreme growth of cloud computing technologies for example; the bottom line is there’s amazing inherent potential with regards to the cloud, but due to its complexity and “remoteness” software development in the field is lagging behind.  Needless to say, this isn’t great news because it is software that really drives cloud technologies.

Here’s a question to ponder – could DevOps be the ultimate solution when it comes to software development for the cloud?   There are two factors at work here: 1.) the need for faster turn-around times, and 2.) an increasing want for complex software that’s highly functional and stable.  Now, given that cloud computing is very “operationally intensive” (to say the least) and within it, there are many things which can go wrong (and must be considered), isn’t the use of DevOps the most logical choice?   Think about it this way – by joining development and operations, software designers can create software and carry out tests in near real-time.  In this way, operation specialists can inform the developers about any impending problems and the developers can free their minds from the fear of producing “ineffective” or “bug-laden” software.  In other words, it allows the entire group to have a perfectly clear vision of what’s surfacing on the operational side of the equation, while at the same time; those who are actually creating the software won’t be wasting their time with ineffective solutions or concepts which might ultimately be doomed to fail in the long-run.

Similarly, the entire cloud computing industry seems to be suffering from something of a shortfall of qualified workers and technicians.  There is clear evidence of this in multiple fields, with many businesses claiming that it’s becoming harder to find specialists (this also includes the US department of defense and DHS, as of late).  If you’re interested in cloud computing or seem to have a knack for it, perhaps you should take this as a sign or opportunity to seek out some form of cloud certification?

Likewise, if you’re engaged in a career that makes involves the development and/or organized use / modification of software then DevOps certification is for you.  DevOps is a field that is certainly growing in its usefulness and popularity, that’s for sure; however, it’s very likely that we’re going to see all manner of businesses scrambling to adopt its methodology in the coming years.  When you add up all the factors like – an escalating more toward the widespread use of cloud computing, the dominant role that IT is assuming within corporate structure, and the growing need for new (and increasingly complex) software, it becomes fairly obvious that DevOps can offer solutions.  Moreover, those IT professionals who are intrepid enough to jump on board the DevOps train now are likely to become leaders in the field and will certainly be in much higher demand than their non-certified counterparts.

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