Cloud-Based Documentation at the Speed of DevOps

Welcome back to this (semi-)regular column where I attempt to answer questions about DevOps, especially in larger enterprises. This time I address a vexing issue facing many large enterprises – how to make sure downstream processes move as fast as development and operations: Q. In my enterprise we are getting faster at releasing code, but we are still slow to update and translate downstream product documentation. How can documentation and technical writing be optimized as part of a DevOps approach? As I have said before, you can ask me any question you want (in the comments below, via e-mail, or on Twitter), but that doesn’t mean I know all the answers. If (when) I don’t know, I have promised to try to find someone who does – and this is one of those times. This question stumped me, so I asked around to find some insight into this issue. As ...

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Mobility Means Enterprises Need to Get Lean with DevOps

When people say “mobile” most folks think “devices.” Phones. Tablets. Phablets. Smart things. Wearables. But what we really ought to be talking about in most cases is apps. A McKinsey & Company survey noted, “When we recently surveyed 250 CIOs on their mobility strategies, 56 percent reported strong demand from employees to support a wide range of mobile devices.” With no direct mention of applications you might think CIOs are reporting just that employees be allowed to use mobile devices, but dig deeper into this and similar surveys and you’ll find what CIOs and employees mean by “support a wide range of mobile devices” is really this: make applications available across all the myriad devices we might want to use. When we say “mobility” is a driving factor for the adoption of a technology or an emerging methodology like DevOps, we don’t mean just the insatiable demand consumers have for engaging ...

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The DevOps Culture Cocktail

As I have written in previous posts, I believe that IT has accumulated decades of cultural debt that is now due.  We are a young  industry that grew up in silo neighborhoods, each with it’s proprietary practices, language and population of like-skilled specialists.  Left unchecked, the resulting “framework culture” contributed to IT’s cultural debt and is partially the motivation behind DevOps. The goal of DevOps is not to undervalue or replace the frameworks that are in place.  On it’s own, DevOps is not a framework – in fact,  successful DevOps relies on combined effect of best practices such as Agile, Lean and ITSM.   By recognizing and adapting the best of each, IT can formulate a potent recipe for enhancing performance and increasing customer satisfaction. So let’s belly up to the bar and mix ourselves a DevOps Culture Cocktail by taking the best guidance from the top shelf of each of ...

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Consumer Web Automation for DevOps?

These days event-based automation is everywhere from IFTTT recipes used by non-technical folks to cross post automatically to Twitter, Google+ and Facebook to email alerts for free iTunes downloads. And don’t forget the tech savvy that create even more complex sequences from Zapier and now Stamplay to track workloads and simple business processes or automate developer tools. But this automation is not limited to consumer uses—it can also be the answer to DevOps challenges. Simple DevOps processes implemented with services such as IFTTT and Zapier improve the workflow and boost work performance. ...

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The Dark Side of Infrastructure as Code

We spend a lot of time extolling the virtues of infrastructure as code. All of it is true. Treating infrastructure as code can add great value in terms of its ability to promote consistent, predictable and repeatable results during the application deployment process. One of the ways in which infrastructure is treated as code is through the use of programmability. Programmability is an integral component in software defined architectures and a part of the DevOps approach is automation through integration with traditionally development lifecycle focused tools and technologies. APIs, app templates and the ability to programmatically interact with the data path are enabling rapid provisioning of services in the network. That’s important to the business. Improving service velocity in the network is critical to achieving faster time to market and enabling the operational scale necessary to meet growing pressure on networks arising from the growth of applications driven by cloud, ...

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Enterprise DevOps and the Project Management Office

Welcome back to this occasional DevOps.com series on Enterprise DevOps Q&A. Remember, if you have questions about DevOps in the enterprise, let me know and I will try to answer them (or find someone who can). E-mail me at andi.mann@ca.com, tweet me at @AndiMann, or leave a comment below. This week brings a question about DevOps that could only come from a large enterprise: Q. For software development and IT operations, the picture is quite clear. But in my company the PMO has so much control over what projects we take on, what their scope is, when they are due, etc. How can I encourage and enable DevOps in our PMO? Startups and ‘DevOps unicorns’ likely have never worried about dealing with a Project Management Office (PMO), but this is a very common process gate for enterprise-scale organizations. The PMO provides essential capabilities to plan application strategy, gather requirements, prioritize ...

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Moving Security To the Left In a DevOps World

Moving security to the left has become a coined phrase meant to describe the process of getting the security team involved earlier in a process.  Most typically, the phrase is used in conjunction with IT or software development projects. One of the top suggestions for ensuring security in a DevOps world is to move security to the left in the process tool chain. But what exactly or how exactly can you move security to the left? Grab that Open Seat The new DevOps process pipeline created an opening for a seat at the table for security. Prior to DevOps, the development team owned the entire pipeline from plan to release.  The Ops team would historically receive the release from over the wall and then be responsible for the deployment and operating the software inside the production environment.  With the Ops team joining forces with Development in the process pipeline, that ...

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Enterprising DevOps in Banking sector

“Shift left” is common in project life cycle management where the risks are mitigated early in the cycle by involving QA team early in the planning & development phase. In the  IT support systems, shift left empowers support staffs with enough tools, processes & knowledge base so that the issues get resolved at a point closest to the customer. The purpose of this process is to create a leaner organization and increase customer satisfaction. DevOps is a continuous shift left that helps in high velocity product delivery and enhance the quality of the deliverables. Why DevOps is crucial to Banking Sector? a.       Multi-channel delivery Traditionally banks have been offering products & services that were physically distributed through branches/ATMs in a brick-and-mortar fashion. But with the rapid increase in the use of smartphones & tablets, the banks are challenged to transform their distribution channels and trend towards drive-to-digital. The study from eMarketer.com shows the ...

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My Little Operations: DevOps is Magic

Bear with me, it will all make sense in the end.   If you aren’t familiar with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (because you don’t have a child who watches it over and over and … well, over)  let me sum up for you: There’s a pony who knows something horrible is coming. She wants to stop it. She’s instead sent by management to make friends, which seems to her to be ridiculous in the face of a looming catastrophe. When that catastrophe happens, she and her new “friends” (her coworkers) set off to find the elements of harmony – the only thing that can save the world. But lo and behold, evil destroys the elements. Or so it appears. See, it turns out that the friends are the embodiment of the elements of harmony and through their friendship they create the most powerful element of them all: magic. Together, ...

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Collaboration in Progress: Making DevOps a Reality

Everything on your company’s DevOps checklist is accounted for. It’s got the vision and the talent. It’s identified the problems and mapped out a solution. It’s got a culture that allows the flexibility that such a plan requires. Now’s the time to put the plan into action and let the benefits begin. The truth is that it may not be that simple. A great plan won’t mean anything unless everyone understands how to achieve it. And whatever a company’s DevOps strategy consists of, collaboration is the key to making it a reality. Collaboration is at the heart of DevOps. It’s even conveyed in the phrase itself. No matter the size of your company, this new process of teamwork and transparency relies on combining strengths between Development and Operations to achieve goals that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Breaking Silos with a Full-Circle Approach With one department responsible for writing code and ...

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