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Continuous Delivery: once you’ve mastered it…there is no going back.


In IT we always tend to focus on building software that serves a certain functionality. No one used to think about the development process. Until a few years back when people started to think about the time-to-market. That’s when our perspective on software development changed forever.

So how did the development process work?

Someone would come up with an idea for a new software application. This person would propose his idea to an analyst who approves the request. When approved the architect is informed and instructed to design the software. When the architect is done he hands his design over to the developer, who hands it to a tester when finished. The tester checks if everything works and if so, he sets the releasing process in motion. Anyone can see that this is a lengthy and time consuming process.

There had to be a better, quicker way to develop software

That is when DevOps was found. A new, SMART development methodology that changed our perspective on software development forever. Instead of focussing on the functionality of the software, we had to focus on the functionality of the process.

Making DevOps reality

In order to make DevOps a reality, we need to look at two angles. The process execution and the management of that process. In order to have a better execution of the process we need to look at the process from an end-to-end view and take the following steps: eliminate any unnecessary steps and automate any no-brainer task. In order to improve the management of the process we need to move into an agile way of working and adopt techniques such as Scrum and Kanban.

Which parts could be improved to speed things up?

Automation is the key. With every automation of a step in the delivery process we get more quality and more speed. However, there is one area which if automated will win the biggest piece of the (return on investment) pie. That area is testing.

Automation has a price

Automation usually comes at a price that strikes sensitive areas such as resource management.
After implementing test automation, many testers believed that they would lose their jobs. But the truth is that they will be part of the bigger Agile teams. They will learn new skills or they will be more busy automating the tests and make it smarter rather than doing the boring job manually.

Continuous Delivery is a mindset

The process of automating the delivery cycle is called continuous delivery. One who works in Continuous Delivery will always spot repetitive processes and will try to automate them. You keep raising your bar constantly. Therefore, we claim that Continuous Delivery is more than a methodology. It is a mindset. Once you’ve mastered it, there is no going back.

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