DevOps and research & Dev(Ops): how do you combine DevOps and R&D?

Written by Wilfried Kirschenmann, on 02 October 2019

This year, Aneo is renewing its participation in DevOps REX! On this occasion, we share our feedback on concrete DevOps cases.

One of the most common mistakes when setting up a software factory is to think about it after the application development phase. DevOps is often viewed as a tool that concludes development, whereas its main purpose is to facilitate development before production, by easing development, deployment, and testing, while also enforcing deployable developments.

The DevOps consideration around an application is not just implementing a software template. It's essential to think about it by studying the desired solution. A software factory has a lifecycle synchronized with the applications it deploys.

Defining the software factory in stone causes compatibility issues with the created application or even prohibits certain technological stacks for developers. The software factory should not hinder innovation but rather accelerate it and be able to evolve.

To best support an ever-evolving R&D team, it is crucial to have a software factory and DevOps tools on the same page. For this purpose, the software factory must be open to the user community, and implementation practices must be shared and documented.

Iteratively, development teams identify new needs, bugs, and evolutions of the DevOps chain. These needs feed into a prioritized DevOps backlog. A DevOps R&D environment must be available to everyone to test the effects of a new technological choice on the entire DevOps chain.

Do not rest on your laurels: every time you think you have finalized your factory, consider what new functionality you can offer to your developers. Understanding the R&D concept of the software factory requires investments and time for technological watch and testing of new platforms.

DevOps R&D process: the software factory should be seen as an evolving product embraced by all!

Training provided by software factory vendors should not be overlooked; it allows discovering new features and eventually opens up new possibilities.

This DevOps backlog is prioritized. After implementation and deployment on a test platform, a demonstration is given to users. Based on user feedback, training and support can be provided for users to adopt the new features. The flexibility and responsiveness of this R&D approach ultimately cover the developers' DevOps needs and encourage them to take ownership of the DevOps chain.

Remember: audit the needs, test new features, keep an eye on innovations, take the time to train yourself, and finally, support developers in understanding your new features. They will be your best allies if you make their work easier.