What Makes DevOps Successful: Architecture

DevOps is increasingly gaining traction in the aerospace and defense industries. Its focus on quickly delivering high-quality products to the end-user has caused leading figures such as the CIO of the Army and a Software Technical Director at Raytheon to publicly endorse it for use in their industries.

When building a DevOps program, it’s critical to consider the importance of a solid architecture in all its components. To make DevOps successful, a well-designed DevOps team balances the need for structure with the benefits of flexibility, and a well-architected DevOps process, which makes the best use of the available tools can help achieve the stability and security that is at the core of the industry.

Importance of Well-Architected DevOps Culture

In DevOps, a certain amount of flexibility is expected and necessary for the system to work. This seems at odds with an industry and culture where stability is key. However, a well-designed DevOps program can be a huge asset for an organization operating in the aerospace and defense industry. Well-designed, well-equipped teams have the stability to operate in the industry while retaining the flexibility necessary to do their jobs.

Architecting Effective Teams

A common feature of Agile methodologies is a balance between order and chaos in the design of the team. For example, Scrum suggests a team of 5-9 members who all have voting power on how the work should be done (which seems a bit chaotic). However, there are a few defined roles on the team, the Scrum Master and Product Owner, designed to ensure that operations remain on track.

This form of limited democracy has been demonstrated to be very effective for development. Since DevOps is focused on designing and implementing systems in small chunks, the entire team can focus on ensuring that each component is well-designed in isolation as well as part of a whole.

DevOps is extremely well-suited for an industry that requires high-quality products with reasonable delivery schedules. The Product Owner makes sure that the team is building what the customer wants, the team makes sure that it’s built in the best possible way, and the Scrum Master ensures that everything stays on track.

Ensuring Stability and Security

A common view of DevOps and Agile processes is that they are chaotic and deadline-focused. The rush to a minimum viable product means that security and testing is an afterthought. However, a well- designed DevOps team following the core principles of DevOps is capable of producing extremely well-tested and stable products while still meeting product deadlines much shorter than is possible with traditional design methodologies.

In order to be successful in an industry where stability and security are essential, a DevOps team needs established processes and the tools that support them. DevOps has benefited from the development of continuous automation and development platforms that remove the load of testing from developers while ensuring product functionality. Code coverage checking tools help ensure that every line of code is tested and functional before reaching production.

One of the main benefits of a well-designed DevOps product is the focus on producing components in manageable, testable pieces. The ability to know at the end of a development session that the code works as designed and integrates with other components means that developers waste less time with the massive redesigns caused by discovering a flaw too late.

Improving Critical Software Development with DevOps

DevOps done right can help to improve software quality without sacrificing deadlines. The test-focused mindset of DevOps developers is a perfect fit for the aerospace and defense industry where correctness is critical. The rapid development and deployment cycles are also a huge asset in ensuring that products are ready when they’re needed and that customers receive what they need now rather than what they thought they would need months or years ago.

To learn more about how DevOps can benefit your organization, contact Performance Software.

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