From the first days of the DevOps concept, it was imagined as a dynamic software development and deployment approach. The good news is that it remains true to the original ideas. DevOps continues to move forward quickly thanks to new technologies and best practices, so developers can have difficulty figuring out the best ways to improve their workflow.
Which practices to follow through? What are the best languages to learn? Which improvement is best in terms of efficiency and quality? If these are the questions you’ve been trying to find answers to, you can look them up below as we outline five great tips to improve your DevOps workflow.
One of the vital processes of DevOps is testing. However, it can consume a lot of time, especially in big and fragmented projects. Testing is there to ensure everything is ready for the deployment phase. It can help discover inconsistencies in code, bugs, and significant errors. How can you improve it? You should look for the answers in automation.
One of the easiest ways to automate the testing process is to use GitHub, more specifically, GitHub actions. GitHub Actions comes with a dozen ready-to-use actions you can browse in the platform’s marketplace or build your own testing action from scratch.
It will help you discover problems in your code before you complete it so that you can avoid bigger issues down the line. GitHub allows you to create ephemeral testing environments and automatically run tests.
Another thing you can do with your DevOps workflow is to work on security. There are many ways to improve the security of your code and final software. First, you can add tests to look for vulnerabilities in your code. However, if you want a more reliable solution, consider using DevOps platforms with built-in security capabilities such as software composition analysis.
It is one of the most reliable ways, if not the most reliable way, of ensuring a high level of security for DevOps, no matter how complex your workflow is. You will be able to streamline a range of security checks ranging from scanning IaC files for exploitable configurations to detecting and removing malicious packages.
Additionally, you will also be able to automate governance, implement security, and comply with specific legal guidelines.
Use cloud IDEs
In the early days, it was impossible to imagine DevOps without using Integrated Development Environments. Today you have another option to further improve your workflow. You can start using cloud IDEs. There are many benefits of using cloud IDEs. However, the most noteworthy is the capability of creating pre-configured environments on demand.
Thanks to cloud IDEs, you can create and put brand-new developer environments into production in a few seconds. The best thing about them is that you can dispose of them as quickly as creating them and move on with your coding and testing.
Additionally, you can expect a noticeable boost in production as you won’t rely on your hardware. Cloud IDEs use the robust infrastructure of the cloud, enabling you to code as fast as possible. Once you outgrow cloud IDEs, you can look into Docker to completely transform DevOps workflow.
Embrace infrastructure automation
Cloud-native app developers often have to deal with more than just one environment. It can potentially create problems and set your projects behind because your app and all the environments and infrastructure you use must be compatible.
Imagine having to manually configure, provision, coordinate, and provision all your systems and applications to run your software without any hiccups. Make infrastructure automation a part of your workflow. It will unlock two powerful benefits for you and your team.
First, you can rebuild environments hassle-free whenever you need it or if something goes wrong with your current setup. Secondly, you won’t depend on your operations team so heavily when you need a new setup with specific hardware and system provisioning.
Store your app configurations
Whether you work on open-source or enterprise development projects, your efficiency depends on how fast you can configure apps. There is no need to do it manually whenever you start working on a new project. Instead, store your app configurations for later use.
While there are many ways to do it, many developers use YAML to store custom setups. The best thing about YAML is that it stores configurations in a readable form, enabling you to easily edit and load them.
Continuous integration is a must-have
Continuous integration, or CI, is one of those processes that can help you significantly improve your DevOps workflow. Pushing code to a server on demand or having all developers be able to do so without any checks can set your entire operation back. Your code can contain errors or, even worse, some significant security vulnerabilities.
This can be a big problem for you down the line, so how do you ensure there are no errors or vulnerabilities in your code?
The first thing you have to do is implement CI as an umbrella process over all your DevOps processes. The role of the CI is to ensure that everything is tested before it gets merged with the rest of the code on the server. Look at it as a standard to help you automate testing and security measures across the board. Remember GitHub Actions?
Great, because you can use it to discover and use pre-built workflows for CI. When incorporating CI into your DevOps workflow, you should also use it on your releases, as it can help you discover precisely what didn’t work, why it went wrong, and how to prevent it from occurring in the future.
Your DevOps workflow will be as smooth as you make it. Luckily, you have plenty of options to choose from. For a start, you can automate testing, improve security, use cloud IDEs, embrace infrastructure automation, and store your app configurations. As you improve, you can work on continuous integration and update it by adding the latest best practices in the industry.