What Is a Lifecycle in DevOps and How Knowing About It Will Help Your Career

The term DevOps refers to Development and Operations. With DevOps, one team handles all aspects of developing a software application, through to the operations phase. The DevOps lifecycle is all of the phases involved in creating an application, including testing and deployment.

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The DevOps lifecycle is focused on constant evaluation, monitoring, and implementation of changes to create optimal quality applications. This leads not only to a better product but to faster completion.

Continuous Development

The first stage of the DevOps lifecycle is continuous development. This is where the planning takes place – determining what the desired outcome is for the application. This stage also includes creating the code.

Various programming languages such as Python and JavaScript can be used to write the code, which is maintained with a distributed version control tool such as Git or Subversion. The maintenance of the code is referred to as Source Code Management (SCM).

Using a tool like Git allows all teams involved in the development and operation of the application to communicate with each other. Since there can be many people working on the team, a distributed version control tool streamlines communication and ensures everyone remains up to date with any changes to the application.

The code can then be packaged into executable files using a tool such as Maven or Garden.

Continuous Testing

The second phase in a DevOps lifecycle is the continuous testing stage. Some DevOps teams will put this stage third, after the continuous integration phase. During this phase, the application is tested for bugs to make sure that it functions as it should. Docker containers are used to simulate a testing environment.

Continuous testing tools are used to automate the tests and provide feedback. These include Selenium and JUnit. Automation of testing is an efficient way to ensure functionality, as it saves time.

Continuous Integration

The third stage of a DevOps lifecycle is referred to as continuous integration. During this phase, changes are made to integrate new functions with previous ones. The new code is developed and added to the existing code. This happens frequently, either on a daily or weekly basis. Jenkins is an example of a tool that is used during the continuous integration phase.

Continuous Deployment

Continuous deployment is the fourth stage in the lifecycle of DevOps. This phase involves deploying the code to the production servers. In addition, it includes maintaining consistent configurations among each server and automating updates on the servers.

Some of the tools used in the continuous deployment phase are called configuration management tools. These include Ansible and SaltStack. There are also tools like Vagrant which are referred to as containerization tools. These help with the scaling and consistency of the application.

Continuous Monitoring

The fifth stage in the lifecycle of DevOps is continuous monitoring. Essentially this means that you are constantly recording and evaluating the performance of the application that has been created. In this phase, errors are identified and the reasons for the errors are sought out. Some examples of common errors found during this phase are low memory or server not reachable.

Any network issues can be evaluated during this phase as well. The security of the application is also monitored at this time. Tools such as Sensu and Splunk are used during this continuous monitoring phase. They provide a way of monitoring the application and the servers.

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Continuous Operations

The final and shortest stage in a DevOps lifecycle is the continuous operations phase. During this stage, the team automates the release of the application and future updates.

The various stages in a DevOps lifecycle occur in a loop. Once the application is performing at an optimal level, the lifecycle is complete.

Why Organizations Use DevOps

The number of information technology companies that have embraced DevOps continues to increase. DevOps provides a cost-effective procedure for creating new software applications, while simultaneously building a culture of learning and collaboration.

With DevOps, instead of having different teams working separately in the application, one single team works to create and evaluate it. The focus of the DevOps lifecycle is continuous improvement which encourages employees to constantly look for ways to make the application better.

The use of automation tools in the DevOps lifecycle allows developers to spend time on what they do best and saves time overall. While there are a variety of tools on the market, it is important to consider which ones will work best for your organization before committing to them. Organizations must also think about security and maintaining the integrity of the applications.

Learning DevOps

If you’re considering a career in DevOps, there are plenty of skills you can develop to help you along the way. You can use free courses and bootcamps to help you learn these skills. Platforms like Udemy, Udacity, and Coursera have several options to choose from.

First, you’ll want to learn a programming language such as Python or Ruby. Once you have learned one programming language, it is much easier to understand and learn others as well.

You’ll also need to learn about source control, operating systems such as Linux, and networking skills. Networking skills include learning about DNS name resolution, subnetting, gateways, firewalls, load balancers, and proxy servers.

You will also need to understand how various cloud providers work. Google Cloud, Azure, and AWS are somewhat similar, so learning one of these platforms will be a good basis for working with the others.

Other skills that will help you on your path to a career in DevOps include learning about containers and container orchestration. You’ll also want to learn configuration management tools such as Puppet and Chef.

Course Recommendation

Udemy offers an excellent course that provides an overview of many of the skills and tools you will need for your career. DevOps Beginners to Advanced consists of 25 sections covering topics like Linux, Git, Docker, Ansible, Python, and Maven.

Building your skills will help you understand the DevOps lifecycle and how you can utilize it to produce quality software applications.

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