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Can Devops and Scaled Agile Models Coexist?

DevOPs, is a perfect blend of Software DEVelopment and Information Technology OPerationS. This term is used to refer to a set of practices that highlights the collaboration and conveyance of both software developers and Information Technology people, while automating the software delivery process and performing changes in infrastructure. The aim behind DevOPs is to provide the environment which can help in coding, testing and deploying the software, rapidly and more reliably. Agile and DevOPs are similar concepts. Agile represents some changes in imagining and practicing what is best for organizational change, whereas DevOps places more importance on implementing the organizational changes to perceive its goals. Due to the increasing popularity of the Agile Software Development, the need to introduce DevOPs has escalated. This has led to a cooperation in software delivery, as there are increased number of releases. If DevOps practices are adapting the Agile methodology, it will contribute to an increased organizational profit. Ultimately, it will be beneficial if Agile and DevOps go hand in hand, to maximize the outcome for the organization. However, everyone should be aware of the fact that the software is being created first and ranked by the developers. The success of the implementation of this software  depends entirely on the use of the software. Let’s have a look on some well-known models: SAFe® (Scaled Agile Framework) Scaled Agile Framework is the Agile Software Framework, designed by Scaled Agile, Inc. It consists of a knowledge base of combined patterns, which forms the Enterprise-Scale and Lean-Agile development. SAFe® aims at the collaboration of both software and systems development and delivery, for increased number of Agile teams. SAFe® is mainly about helping the customers to solve their most challenging scaling problems. SAFe®uses 3 primary bodies to maximize the advantage. These are: Agile development, Lean product development, and systems thinking. You can say that there are two aspects of SAFe® are: the DevOps team and the System team. The System team is more centered around the development side activities like Continuous Integration and test automation, while  the DevOps team focuses on the features which will be useful for deployment and the automation of the process. DAD (Disciplined Agile Delivery): The focus of DAD is more on the processes. DAD is the decision framework process that enables decisions on incremental and iterative solution delivery. DAD has been known as the “movement beyond the scrum”,which is described in the book written by Scott Ambler and Mark Lines. The DAD framework provides a mechanism to construct smoothly working of IT processes and helps in Scaling. LESS (Large Scale Scrum): In LESS, DevOps is not called in the detailed manner, but it is covered by Technical Excellence. Technical Excellence is the way of  making changes to the product in a simple, rapid and flexible way,also called Technical Agility. LESS has a ‘less’ focus on explicitly describing how to use the process and at what time.  So, it is upto you to assign the work at the right time to the right person. It is therefore highly recommendable that the organizations use the combination  of ‘Explicit Structure of SAFe® principles’ and the ‘ideas of LESS’ to create a framework. This will definitely create more profit in your Organizations.
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Can Devops and Scaled Agile Models Coexist?

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Can Devops and Scaled Agile Models Coexist?

DevOPs, is a perfect blend of Software DEVelopment and Information Technology OPerationS. This term is used to refer to a set of practices that highlights the collaboration and conveyance of both software developers and Information Technology people, while automating the software delivery process and performing changes in infrastructure. The aim behind DevOPs is to provide the environment which can help in coding, testing and deploying the software, rapidly and more reliably.

Agile and DevOPs are similar concepts. Agile represents some changes in imagining and practicing what is best for organizational change, whereas DevOps places more importance on implementing the organizational changes to perceive its goals. Due to the increasing popularity of the Agile Software Development, the need to introduce DevOPs has escalated. This has led to a cooperation in software delivery, as there are increased number of releases.

If DevOps practices are adapting the Agile methodology, it will contribute to an increased organizational profit. Ultimately, it will be beneficial if Agile and DevOps go hand in hand, to maximize the outcome for the organization. However, everyone should be aware of the fact that the software is being created first and ranked by the developers. The success of the implementation of this software  depends entirely on the use of the software.

Let’s have a look on some well-known models:

SAFe® (Scaled Agile Framework)

Scaled Agile Framework

Scaled Agile Framework is the Agile Software Framework, designed by Scaled Agile, Inc. It consists of a knowledge base of combined patterns, which forms the Enterprise-Scale and Lean-Agile development. SAFe® aims at the collaboration of both software and systems development and delivery, for increased number of Agile teams. SAFe® is mainly about helping the customers to solve their most challenging scaling problems. SAFe®uses 3 primary bodies to maximize the advantage. These are: Agile development, Lean product development, and systems thinking. You can say that there are two aspects of SAFe® are: the DevOps team and the System team. The System team is more centered around the development side activities like Continuous Integration and test automation, while  the DevOps team focuses on the features which will be useful for deployment and the automation of the process.

DAD (Disciplined Agile Delivery):

The focus of DAD is more on the processes. DAD is the decision framework process that enables decisions on incremental and iterative solution delivery. DAD has been known as the movement beyond the scrum,which is described in the book written by Scott Ambler and Mark Lines. The DAD framework provides a mechanism to construct smoothly working of IT processes and helps in Scaling.

LESS (Large Scale Scrum):

In LESS, DevOps is not called in the detailed manner, but it is covered by Technical Excellence. Technical Excellence is the way of  making changes to the product in a simple, rapid and flexible way,also called Technical Agility. LESS has a ‘less’ focus on explicitly describing how to use the process and at what time.  So, it is upto you to assign the work at the right time to the right person.

It is therefore highly recommendable that the organizations use the combination  of ‘Explicit Structure of SAFe® principles’ and the ‘ideas of LESS’ to create a framework. This will definitely create more profit in your Organizations.

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KnowledgeHut

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KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
Website : https://www.knowledgehut.com

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1 comments

Kajal Mehra 10 Jul 2018

Very interesting blog post.Quite informative and very helpful

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How to Become a DevOps Engineer

Who is DevOps engineer?        DevOps engineers are a group of influential individuals who encapsulates depth of knowledge and years of hands-on experience around a wide variety of open source technologies and tools. They come with core attributes which involve an ability to code and script, data management skills as well as a strong focus on business outcomes. They are rightly called “Special Forces” who hold core attributes around collaboration, open communication and reaching across functional borders.DevOps engineer always shows interest and comfort working with frequent, incremental code testing and deployment. With a strong grasp of automation tools, these individuals are expected to move the business quicker and forward, at the same time giving a stronger technology advantage. In nutshell, a DevOps engineer must have a solid interest in scripting and coding,  skill in taking care of deployment automation, framework computerization and capacity to deal with the version control system.Qualities of a DevOps Engineer Collated below are the characteristics/attributes of the DevOps Engineer.Experience in a wide range of open source tools and techniquesA Broad knowledge on Sysadmin and Ops rolesExpertise in software coding, testing, and deploymentExperiences on DevOps Automation tools like Ansible, Puppet, and ChefExperience in Continuous Integration, Delivery & DeploymentIndustry-wide experience in implementation of  DevOps solutions for team collaborationsA firm knowledge of the various computer programming languagesGood awareness in Agile Methodology of Project ManagementA Forward-thinker with an ability to connect the technical and business goals     Demand for people with DevOps skills is growing rapidly because businesses get great results from DevOps. Organizations using DevOps practices are overwhelmingly high-functioning: They deploy code up to 30 times more frequently than their competitors, and 50 percent fewer of their deployments fail.What exactly DevOps Engineer do?DevOps is not a way to get developers doing operational tasks so that you can get rid of the operations team and vice versa.  Rather it is a way of working that encourages the Development and Operations teams to work together in a highly collaborative way towards the same goal. In nutshell, DevOps integrates developers and operations team to improve collaboration and productivity.The main goal of DevOps is not only to increase the product’s quality to a greater extent but also to increase the collaboration of Dev and Ops team as well so that the workflow within the organization becomes smoother & efficient at the same time.DevOps Engineer has an end-to-end responsibility of the Application (Software) right from gathering the requirement to development, to testing, to infrastructure deployment, to application deployment and finally monitoring & gathering feedback from the end users, then again implementing the changes. These engineers spend more time researching new technologies that will improve efficiency and effectiveness.They Implement highly scalable applications and integrate infrastructure builds with application deployment processes. Let us spend some time in understanding the list of most important DevOps Engineers’ roles and responsibilities.1) The first and foremost critical role of a DevOps Engineer is to be an effective communicator i.e Soft Skills. A DevOps Engineer is required to be a bridge between the silos and bring different teams together to work towards a common goal. Hence, you can think of DevOps Engineers as “IT Project Managers”. They typically work on a DevOps team with other professionals in a similar role, each managing their own piece of the infrastructure puzzle.2) The second critical role of DevOps Engineer is to be Expert Collaborators. This is because their role requires them to build upon the work of their counterparts on the development and IT teams to scale cloud programs, create workflow processes, assign tenants and more.3) Thirdly, they can be rightly called “Mentors” as they spend most of the time in mentoring and educating software developers and architecture teams within an organization on how to create software that is easily scalable. They also collaborate with IT and security teams to ensure quality releases.Next, they need to be a “customer-service oriented” individuals. The DevOps Engineer is a customer-service oriented, team player who can emerge from a number of different work and educational backgrounds, but through their experience has developed the right skillset to move into DevOps.The DevOps Engineer is an important IT team member because they work with an internal customer. This includes QC personnel, software and application developers, project managers and project stakeholders usually from within the same organization. Even though they rarely work with external customers or end-users, but they keep close eye on  a “customer first” mindset to satisfy the needs of their internal clients.Not to miss out, DevOps engineer holds broad knowledge and experience with Infrastructure automation tools. A key element of DevOps is automation.  A lot of the manual tasks performed by the more traditional system administrator and engineering roles can be automated by using scripting languages like Python, Ruby, Bash, Shell, Node.js. This ensures a consistent performance of manual tasks by removing the human component and allowing teams to spend the saved time on more of the broader goals of the team and company.Hence, a DevOps engineer must possess the ability to implement automation technologies and tools at any level, from requirements to development to testing and operations.Few of other responsibilities of DevOps Engineer include -Manage and maintain infrastructure systemMaintaining and developing highly automated services landscape and open source servicesTake over the ownership for integral components of technology and make sure it grows aligned with company successScale systems and ensure the availability of services with developers on changes to the infrastructure required by new features and products.How to become a devops engineer?DevOps is less about doing things a particular way, and more about moving the business forward and giving it a stronger technological advantage. There is not a single cookbook or path to become a devops professional . It's a continuous learning and consulting process . Every DevOps tasks have been originated from various development , testing , ops team  consulting through consultants and running pilots, therefore it’s hard to give a generic playbook for how to get it implemented. Everyone should start with learning about the values, principles, methods, and practices of DevOps and trying to share it via any channel  and keep learning.Here’s my 10 golden tips to become a DevOps Engineer:    1.  Develop Your Personal Brand with Community Involvement    2. Get familiar with IaC(Infrastructure-as-Code) - CM    3. Understand DevOps Principles & Frameworks    4. Demonstrate Curiosity & Empathy    5. Get certified on Container Technologies - Docker | Kubernetes| Cloud    6. Get Expert in Public | Private | Hybrid Cloud offering    7. Become an Operations Expert before you even THINK DevOps    8. Get Hands-on with various Linux Distros & Tools    9. Arm Yourself with CI-CD, Automation & Monitoring Tools(Github, Jenkins, Puppet, Ansible etc)    10.Start with Process Re-Engineering and Cross-collaboration within your teams.Skills that DevOps engineer need to have If you’re aiming to land a job as a DevOps engineer in 2018, it’s not only about having a deep specialized skill but understanding how a variety of technologies and skills come together.One of the things that makes DevOps both challenging to break into is that you need to be able to write code, and also to work across and integrate different systems and applications. Based on my experience, I have finalized on the list of top 5 skill sets  which you might require to be a successful DevOps engineer:#1 - SysAdmin with Virtualization ExperienceDeployment is a major requirement in devops role and ops engineer are good at that , All is needed is a deployments automation engine(chef ,puppet ,ansible) knowledge  and its use-cases implementations . Nowadays , most of public clouds are running multiple flavors of virtualization so a must have 3 – 5 years of virtualization experience with VMware, KVM, Xen, Hyper-V is required along .#2 - Solution Architect RoleAlong with deployments or virtualization experience, understanding and implementation of all the hardware technologies in breadth is a must like storage and networking. Nowadays  there is a very high-demand for people who can design a solution that scales and performs with high availability and uptime with minimal amount of resources to feed on (Max utilization) .#3 - A Passionate Programmer/API ExpertiseBash, Powershell, Perl, Ruby, JavaScript, Go, Python etc are few of popular scripting languages one need to have expertise on  to become an effective DevOps Engineer. A DevOps engineer must be able to write code to automated repeatable processes. One need to be familiar with RESTFUL APIs.#4 - Integration Skillset around CI-CD toolA DevOps engineer should be able to use all his expertise to integrate all the open source tools and technique to create an environment that is fully automated and integrated. The goal should be for zero manual intervention from source code management to deployment state, i.e. Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment.#5 - Bigger Picture & Customer FocusWhile the strong focus on coding chops makes software engineering a natural path to a career in DevOps, the challenge for candidates who are coming from this world is that they need to be able to prove that they can look outside their immediate team and project. DevOps engineers are responsible for facilitating collaboration and communication between the Development and IT teams within an organization, so to succeed in an interview, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate your understanding of how disparate parts of the technical organization fit and work together.In nutshell, all you need are the list of tools and technologies listed below -Source Control (like Git, Bitbucket, Svn, VSTS etc)Continuous Integration (like Jenkins, Bamboo, VSTS )Infrastructure Automation (like Puppet, Chef, Ansible)Deployment Automation & Orchestration (like Jenkins, VSTS, Octopus Deploy)Container Concepts (LXD, Docker)Orchestration (Kubernetes, Mesos, Swarm)Cloud (like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Openstack)What are DevOps certifications available in the market? Are they really useful?In 2018, DevOps professionals are in huge demand. The demand for DevOps professionals in the current IT marketplace has increased exponentially over the years. A certification in DevOps is a complete win-win scenario, with both the individual professional and the organization as a whole standing to gain from its implementation. Completing a certification in the same will not only provide added value to one’s profile as an IT specialist but also advance career prospects faster than would usually be possible.The certifications related to DevOps are categorized into         1)  Foundation,         2) Certified Agile Process Owner &         3) Certified Agile Service ManagerThe introductory DevOps Certification is Foundation and certified individuals are able to execute the concepts and best practices of DevOps and enhance workflow and communication in the enterprise.Yes, these DevOps  certifications hold numerous benefits in the following ways:1. Better Job OpportunitiesDevOps is a relatively new idea in the IT domain with more businesses looking at employing DevOps processes and practices. There is a major gap between the demand for DevOps Certified professionals and the availability of the required DevOps professionals. IT professionals can take advantage of this huge deficit in highly skilled professionals by taking up a certification in DevOps for validation of DevOps skill set. This will ensure and guarantee much better job options.2. Improved Skills & KnowledgeThe core concept of DevOps revolves around brand new decision-making methods and thought processes. DevOps comes with a host of technical and business benefits which upon learning can be implemented in an enterprise. The fundamentals of DevOps consist of professionals working in teams of a cross-functional nature. Such teams consist of multi-disciplinary professionals ranging from business analysts, QA professionals, Operation Engineers, and Developers.3. Handsome SalaryRapid penetration of DevOps best practices in organizations and their implementation in the mentioned organizations is seeing massive hikes in the pay of DevOps professionals.This trend is seen to be consistent and sustainable according to industry experts the world over. DevOps professionals are the highest paid in the IT industry.4. Increased Productivity & EffectivenessConventional IT workplaces see employees and staff being affected by downtime which can be attributed to waiting for other employees or staff and other software and software related issues. The main objective of an IT professional at the workplace would be to be productive for a larger part of the time he/she will spend at the workplace. This can be achieved by minimizing the time spent waiting for other employees or software products and eliminating the unproductive and unsatisfying part of the work process. This will boost the effectiveness of the work done and will add greatly to the value of the enterprise and the staff as well.If you are looking out for the “official” certification programs for DevOps, below are some of the useful links:1) AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional2) Azure certifications | Microsoft3) Google Cloud Certifications4) Chef Certification5) Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Ansible Automation6) Certification - SaltStack7) Puppet certification8) Jenkins Certification9) NGINX University10) Docker - Certification11) Kubernetes Certified Administrator12) Kubernetes Certified Application Developer13) Splunk | Education Programs14) Certifications | AppDynamics15) New Relic University Certification Center16) Elasticsearch Certification Programme17)SAFe DevOps courseDevOps engineer examBelow are the list of popular DevOps Engineer exams and certifications details -DevOps Exam Syllabus Training Duration Minimal Attempts Exam Re-Take InformationAWS Certified DevOps EngineeAWS_certified_devops_engineer_professional_blueprint.pdf3 MonthsNo Minimal RequirementWaiting Period: 14 days before they are eligible to retake the exam.No limit on exam attempts until the test taker has passedRHCA certification with a DevOpsRED HAT CERTIFIED3 Days for each training• Red Hat Certificate ofWaiting Period: 1 weekconcentrationARCHITECT: DEVOPScourseExpertise in Platform-as-a-Service • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Atomic Host Container Administration • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Containerized Application Development• Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Ansible Automation • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Configuration ManagementDocker Certification Associate ExamDCA ExamNo Minimal AttemptsWait 14 days from the day you fail to take the exam againCertified Kubernetes Associate ExamCKA Exam4-5 WeeksNo Minimal AttemptsWait 14 days from the day you fail to take the exam againChef Certification ExamChef Cert Exam8 HoursLinkMinimal 1 week time
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How to Become a DevOps Engineer

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Facts and Facets of Agility and Devops Assessment in Organizations

The fast and developing organizations are now mostly on Agile wheels! Even some of the biggest corporate giants have realized that “Agile begets Agile” and have kept no stone unturned to achieve complete agility. The first and possibly the biggest milestone was integrating DevOps into the Agile fabric to fully utilize the values of both the technologies. Yet, for the longest time, there existed innumerable constraints that were weighing down these Agile teams.  They finally understood that the first big step to attain speed, performance and synergy in Agile projects was a proper Agility Assessment. This was the foundation and the very basic formula that kept an Agile team up and running.    Gauge Your Continuous Deployment Maturity and Assessment now available https://t.co/GlTB870y4m via @forrester #DevOps #ContinuousDeployment #Agile — Robert Stroud CGEIT CRISC (@RobertEStroud) 11 December 2017 What is the purpose of assessment? The primary aim of assessment is to understand the current state of agility in delivering working software in the organization at all levels. Agile Coach will work with you to develop a shared understanding of conditions, strengths, and weaknesses in relevant technology and business areas, including organizational arrangements and processes, leadership and management, teams, Agile implementation readiness, infrastructure, and other areas. Assessment is based on interviews with key stakeholders, survey tools, review of documentation and records, published guidelines, wiki sites, and so on. Agile Coach will observe teams in action and inspect code assets and artifacts as appropriate. The primary objective of assessment is to develop an understanding of where the organization stands with Agile implementation strategy and recommendations which could help them in getting better. Assessment readout is a collaborative activity facilitated by Agile Coach in which your leadership and key stakeholders develop a shared understanding and ownership of the transformation program.   What shall be done as part of assessing the Organization Agility and DevOps?     The outcomes of Agility and DevOps assessment are as follows: Initial findings, observations, major risks or impediments, and recommendations for an Agile transformation backlog, including the following topics: Team design Tool use (e.g., Jira) Workflow recommendations for Kanban, Lean Startup, or Scrum Backlog items for improving the organization Agility and DevOps practices Recommended metrics and key performance indicators appropriate to inspect, adapt and monitor ongoing improvements. Areas and Process of Assessment Leadership Schedule a meeting with the IT leadership team to introduce the team, discuss the outcomes, and initiate a process of Assessment. Discuss the various aspects of Agile transformation such as- What are the business drivers for Agile transformation? What are the priorities? What is the level of support? How involved will each leader be in the transformation? Who will lead and who will support? What risks does leadership foresee and how might those risks be mitigated? How is the alignment between IT and business? How does IT communicate with other business units? What are the leadership styles being exhibited in the organization and its impact? Organization Design and Policies Schedule a meeting with those responsible for managing people to visually depict roles and responsibilities, reporting structures, assignments, and team organization (composition, location, and number). Here are a few points to consider- How are teams created, modified, and directed? What is the organizational or management culture? An organization chart for IT and its business stakeholders, with names, managers, and roles Some of the organization policies Product Management Schedule a meeting with product management or product ownership to discuss the value delivered to Client: Product visions, roadmaps, and release goals and plans in the next year Budgeting Requirements gathering Who are the business stakeholders? What are the products, services, or user experiences delivered by IT? What are their product visions, roadmaps, and release goals and plans? Visually depict how requirements flow into IT. Delivery Schedule a meeting with program and project management and have clarity on the following points- How do requests or ideas turn into projects? How are projects prioritized, funded, and assigned to teams? What governance or lifecycle requirements do projects have? Is any work capitalized? How is software quality maintained? How is process governed? What compliance is required? How are deliverables, schedules, and milestones managed? What does IT deliver iteratively? How long are the iterations? What does IT deliver on demand? How long is the required lead time? High-level service description—the big picture view of the results of IT’s work Effectiveness of different roles being performed in the teams Product Engineering Schedule a meeting with system and application architects to visually depict APIs, integration points, platforms, source control systems, and technologies used by IT. Below is a rundown of the essentials to take care of- A list of technologies (programming languages, software stacks, databases, major 3rd-party components, etc.) Major code bases and tools Delivery pipeline and release frequency Release-level manual testing timeframes, participants, and strategies Automated testing frameworks, environments, and data Automated build practices and frequency Branch and merge practices An additional agenda item for this meeting will be determining the feasibility of collecting the following data: The number of unit, integration, acceptance, UI, and performance tests and what percentage of each type is automated Code coverage and any other static or dynamic codebase metrics The number of open defects categorized by severity and whether they are post-release (i.e., end user impacts) The time it takes to create and deploy a full build in a separate test environment The percentage of release time spent on integration, regression, stabilization, performance, load, and security testing, etc. A list of tools for automation, build, coding, defect tracking, design, requirements, source control, testing, etc. Arrange one or more sessions with representative teams. Include developers, testers, technical writers, usability engineers, architects, analysts, business people—whoever is involved in delivery. The outcome will be a visually depicted interview providing context for the team’s areas of pain, pleasure, and desired change. Assessment Readout Schedule a discussion with leadership after collecting the data to provide the details on what was done as part of the assessment and a set of recommendations which would help in improving the organization Agility and DevOps practices.  Takeaway  That fairly brings us to the end of Agility assessment, combined with DevOps assessment in Agile teams. Together, Agile and DevOps can work wonders in organizations, only if supported by proper assessment techniques. The role of the Agile leaders in such evaluative processes is crucial. They should familiarize themselves with all the key processes in Agile and DevOps assessment and spearhead their teams efficiently. 
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Facts and Facets of Agility and Devops Assessment ...

The fast and developing organizations are now most... Read More