Building a DevOps Team

What is DevOps in software development? The heart of DevOps is a seamless collaboration between the software development team (Dev) and the IT operations members (Ops). The quality of this collaboration separates the organizations that excel from competitors that struggle. With collaboration so vital to this process, it pays to examine the skills of the people who manage successful DevOps rollouts.


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DevOps Fosters a Customer-Focused Culture

DevOps aims to create a partnership of developers and IT professionals that is more than the sum of its parts. The hierarchy of a typical operations department looks something like this:

  • Chief Operating Officer 
  • Vice-President of Operations
  • Director of Operations
  • Operations Manager
  • Operations Specialists and Coordinators
  • Project Managers
  • Operations Technicians

Organizations may use different names, and startups in particular may combine some roles. Before the DevOps revolution, these professionals worked in isolation from the software team. This long standing practice was called siloing, and often delivered less successful results. In the collaborative DevOps culture, it is common for these roles to evolve subtly as members unite for rapid software delivery.

Speaking of delivery, the individuals most accountable for that mission have witnessed enormous change under DevOps. Service delivery managers still watch over ITIL (the IT infrastructure library), quality assurance, distribution to customers and service after the sale. For these professionals, however, resource management is now a greater challenge than ever before.

The resource most in demand in a successful DevOps culture is automation. With the correct automation tools, team members gain the rapid feedback necessary for successful collaboration. When the process works, every person in both software and operations becomes a DevOps team member. It all sounds good in principle, but bringing this culture to life takes the special skills of a DevOps professional.


What Skills Characterize DevOps Professionals?

With the human element playing a vital role in DevOps, a successful DevOps leader must bring a range of talents to the mission:

When you aim to build an adaptable culture, you must be willing to demonstrate adaptation. DevOps leaders have a passion for innovation and keep their eyes on the technology horizon.

While DevOps can reduce the bug count in delivered software, the process cannot eliminate all human shortcomings. Effective DevOps leaders own up to their mistakes. 
Even when your mission is rapid and continuous software deployment, patience is a virtue. DevOps is a culture of constant improvement, and this process requires listening to the insights of every team member. There are no shortcuts; genuine listening demands patience.
Communication, the flip side of listening, is equally vital. Beyond effectively communicating with team members, DevOps team leaders aim to foster communication throughout the organization. In every successful DevOps adoption, this goal means taking a wrecking ball to the barriers between IT operations and software development.

Nothing distinguishes a software provider more than anticipating customer needs, and elite DevOps pros work to infuse this attitude throughout the team.

Along with the DevOps soft skills, a DevOps specialist owns a command of key technologies:

Automation enables early and frequent testing, a boon to both coding and the operations teams. The value of automation is beyond dispute; the difficulty lies in selecting the most appropriate tools for a software organization’s culture and customer base. 
Put talented coders to work on a software project and you’ll end up with a superb solution — eventually. Put the same coders to work with well-designed architecture in place and the result is a superb solution delivered to customers ahead of the competition. Understanding this relationship sets DevOps professionals apart from other talented engineers.
All DevOps leaders understand the basics of cloud structures, but expertise in scaling — rapidly adding users — makes for a mission-critical skill.
Ship it fast and patch it later” guarantees market failure in today’s software environment. Customers put their reputations on the line with their software purchases and rightfully demand secure solutions. Implementing an auditing strategy and repository proxies are now mission-critical tasks for a successful DevOps developer. 

All of these skills converge at a single point: customer focus. With timeless leadership skills and up-to-the-minute technical chops, a DevOps professional builds a culture where all team members share this customer focus.



How Does iuvo Technologies Help Clients Succeed with DevOps?

Making DevOps work takes the right people and the right training. An organization could spend months attempting to recruit this talent. A vastly more efficient route is partnering with a managed services provider. Hundreds of companies have benefited by tapping the talent on offer with iuvo Technologies, Boston’s premier white-glove IT Managed Service Provider (MSP). 

iuvo Technologies begins every relationship with a comprehensive IT assessment. With these insights, we can show you how to enhance communication, the essential DevOps foundation. From coaching teams to structuring worldwide communication channels, we do it all.

With communication on track, we help organizations optimize automation and CI/CD. There’s no shortage of excellent tools, but this vast array makes software selection a minefield for a DevOps rollout. Our experienced team can recommend the most appropriate tools for your organization’s mission and client base.

We sweat the “ops” in DevOps. Operations empower the coders to work efficiently. It makes rapid testing and timely quality assurance possible and moves these refined products into distribution. In short, “ops” bring customer focus to life.

If you are looking to move DevOps from a stretch goal to a functional — and profitable — reality, we invite you to contact us today.


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Why iuvo Technologies?

iuvo Technologies’ understands the unique requirements of software development, and the collaboration it requires between different teams at an organization. It shows in the work we do for clients and the value we add to their businesses. With our expansive knowledge and unique approach to IT, we can help you implement DevOps and achieve faster development, quicker time-to-market, proactive monitoring, and more.

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