The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting the majority of the world’s population. People are locked in their homes, and businesses are trying to adopt remote working solutions. Collaboration is difficult even when your team is in the same office. When the team is separated across different home offices, collaboration and communication get even more complex.
This article explains key concepts of DevOps pipelines, and then presents a few ways to get around remote work challenges for DevOps teams.
What Is a DevOps Pipeline
A software deployment pipeline is a set of solutions and practices that enable you to quickly build, test, and deploy code. Different development methodologies use different pipelines to achieve their goal.
The DevOps pipeline is based on the agile methodology. The aim of a DevOps pipeline is to create a continuous feedback loop in all development stages. The DevOps pipeline removed backlogs by creating a clear workflow. The most commonly used DevOps pipeline is Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD).
How Is DevOps Changing During COVID-19?
COVID-19 makes things harder in some ways for software companies. The economic shutdown mandated by the government will definitely have many negative implications on the future of our economy. This economic shutdown places a lot of pressure on software and hardware infrastructure, the pressure that is not going away anytime soon.
Traditional industries can decrease production to meet lower demand in times of economic slowdown. Technology companies, on the other hand, need to provide the same level of innovation and service quality, while dealing with lower revenues and share values.
From a software point of view, the code writing process is still very manual. As a result, technology companies need to find ways to automate their software testing, delivery, and operations, to remain competitive and viable.
Companies will need to invest in open source automation technologies like Jenkins and Kubernetes to automate software delivery. Moreover, companies will have to deal with an increasing load on their infrastructure, and unexpected edge cases that could risk the overall stability of their production environments. Therefore, DevOps teams will need to become more efficient.
One possible result of this unforeseen change in the environment is the push of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities. Up until now, ML and AI were rarely used in the world of DevOps, but now they are becoming an operational foreground.
Tips For Managing DevOps Teams Remotely
Remote DevOps pipelines need careful thought and new solutions. The following tips can help you make the best of cross-site remote teams.
The company’s culture and vision may not be effectively communicated in a remote workforce. In a traditional office setting, developers and other team members can come together to work on projects. However, when the entire team is separated it’s a lot harder to achieve this final goal.
Make sure all of your developers understand company goals, and what culture the company is wishing to promote. When you create this level of standardization, developers and collaborators can base their decisions on the overall company goal, and individual projects will integrate well together.
Office dynamic and communication is important for spreading knowledge between employees. Remote work eliminates many interactive scenarios in which team members can discuss details and clarify ideas. You need to communicate far more than you previously did to overcome interaction problems.
You have to send more clarification emails and have more regular video chat meetings. This might seem counterproductive or even annoying at first, but you need to have a clear flow of information across the entire team to achieve accountability.
Focus on quality
According to a recent report, the quality of work in a remote environment can suffer, regardless of the fact that employees typically have fewer distractions. The report states that the percentage of bugs in teams that work in a regular office environment is 50% smaller than in teams that work remotely.
These surprising statistics suggest that colocation can improve the quality of work. To prevent quality degradation, remote DevOps teams should focus on smaller workloads that are carefully tested using automated tools.
Catch up on suspended projects
DevOps teams often neglect tasks due to the long-term to-do lists they have. The list can include tasks like refining software delivery pipelines for greater efficiency, and finding new ways to automate and secure infrastructure. If work has slowed down, you can make use of the spare time for catching up with backlog tasks.
Both developers and managers may be new to working remotely. Even if you have previous experience of working remotely, it probably was not during a global pandemic. This situation further complicates the task of managing a fully remote development team.
Managers have to show a strong sense of leadership and implement a solid action plan. They also need to be humble enough to accept feedback from other team members and accept that the plan may not be perfect.
Employees need to adjust to a new lifestyle that may require new strategies. Companies should consider flexible working hours, or reassessing your communications strategy and tools. You need to figure this out as a team. A feedback strategy is likely to keep morale up and prevent low productivity.
The global coronavirus pandemic is forcing many DevOps teams to work remotely, and can also interrupt with work schedules. Luckily, DevOps teams have some experience communicating with remote development teams in other locations.
In addition, you can access most DevOps tools through a web interface, especially those created for and by public clouds. However, communication and collaboration may still suffer in remote work environments. Be sure to follow the above tips to make the most of this challenging period.
Gilad David Maayan is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Imperva, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership.