Wednesday, November 9, 2016

DevOps as an Aspiration

Yesterday I gave a tech talk to my colleagues about how we are using Bitbucket and Jenkins for continuous integration. The talk focused on the things way Bitbucket could be used to integrate with Jira, and how we've set up Jenkins to build and deploy the various branches. It had the title "Towards DevOps".

Towards is the right word to describe what we are doing. The ideal of Dev to Production in 60 minutes is unachievable for many reasons, but the kinds of things that enable such operations are still useful.

So for us, we wanted to use the setup to improve quality control. Successful compilation and running of unit tests is a necessary step before releasing code, and linking Bitbucket to Jenkins gives us that seamlessly.

We also wanted to automate deployments, so that we can go into the Test environment at any time. We could use Jenkins for this and have the operation launched with the click of a button (actually 2 clicks because we have a customisable deployment script for choosing branch, build, and environment.)

This setup is limited to the lower environments and is far from complete. For one, DB scripts are completely manual and reliant on one person. But we are looking to fix that, just as we are looking to include Change Management for automated deployments into the higher environments.

Whatever we end up with will not overturn the enterprise setup. But it has already put us in a better position than we were before, and given us a target on how to further improve things. The corporate culture is not an excuse for making things better.

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