Software developers have and continue to face great demand in Australia, with the industry having created over 30,000 new jobs in 2021 and currently expecting a job growth rate of 30% in the coming five years (according to SEEK statistics).
The sector comprises three main sub-fields known as back-end, front-end, and full-stack development; with those in “full-stack” roles focusing on both the server-side (back-end) and client-facing (front-end) aspects of the development process. Deemed as “all-rounders” of the software development field, it helps to be agile, adaptive, and continuously innovative this role – practices achievable through the well-renowned IT approach known as “DevOps”.
Below, we break down the benefits of DevOps in an IT environment, and how full-stack developers can benefit from adopting its methods.
What is DevOps?
DevOps refers to a framework in IT development that encourages the closer collaboration and transparency between one’s development (“Dev”) teams and their operations (“Op”) teams. Its methodologies are integrated within every phase of the developmental lifecycle, from initiation and planning to product delivery and ongoing monitoring. Such approach allows for a continuous loop of testing and experimentation; improvement; and solution deployment based on ongoing customer feedback – allowing for greater business innovation and faster delivery of value.
Developers working under a DevOps will typically follow its CAMS principle model:
Culture: in which workers focus on forging strong collaborative bonds within teams, helping share responsibilities equally and addressing problems or issues as early as possible;
Automation of processes: in which repetitive tasks are delegated to automated tools, helping save time for more important activities;
Measurement of performance: in which workers track their progress using specific KPIs; and
Sharing: in which workers take the time to share constructive feedback, new knowledge, and new practices among teams.
DevOps has evolved to become an increasingly sought-after framework, leading to high-paying career paths for those who specialise in its methodologies. According to Payscale, such skills can lead to an average salary of $103K AUD per year.
How DevOps can benefit full-stack developers
Greater collaboration and productivity
One of the main values of the DevOps framework is forging and maintaining a culture of greater transparency, shared responsibility, and continuous communication among teams. By working closely with operations (rather than staying siloed as developers), you’ll get to share your goals, timelines, and provide constant feedback with these critical teams – leading to higher levels of productivity and greater quality of results.
DevOps’ methodologies do away with the traditional practice of isolating developers, operations, and quality assurance teams in their own separate departments. It aims to create an environment where workers across these areas focus on the same organisational goals (typically on creating and delivering more value for customers), instead of keeping to department-specific activities. As a full-stack developer, this framework can help you better communicate your needs across other dependent teams, collaboratively brainstorm ways of improving workflow, and gives you a chance to share your technical expertise among workers of other specialisations.
Faster product or solution delivery
Because of the team unity DevOps fosters, developers are able to bring higher-quality products and solutions to customers at greater speeds. With the framework encouraging continuous monitoring and feedback among teams; bugs, updates, and general issues are addressed throughout the entire product lifecycle. This effectively reduces the time it takes to test, fine-tune, and deliver your solutions to your target market.
Through the use of “Value Stream Mapping” in DevOps, full-stack developers can also pinpoint any time-sinks, production bottlenecks, or areas of low productivity in their current processes. This method involves creating a detailed visual of all the critical steps taken to achieve your project goals – giving you a clearer overview of current procedures and the responsibilities shared among teams.
Additionally, DevOps further values the use of automated tools, helping you and your teams develop and deploy solutions at more efficient rates. This approach is typically applied to the more routine aspects of the lifecycle, such as repetitive testing or coding. Leveraging automation under DevOps can thus lead to further productivity, and allows greater room for you to focus on higher-level development tasks and innovation.
With cybercrime on the rise in Australia (leading to tens of millions of losses every year), it pays to prioritise security within the software development process.
DevOps is highly effective framework for not only bolstering your development and operations processes – but the efficiency of your security teams, as well. Often referred to as “DevSecOps”, the approach can also be used to integrate your IT security workers in to the project lifecycle. The approach involves the prioritisation of security from the start of the developmental process, which includes both the adoption of new tools and a change in mindset towards the role of information security.
DevSecOps highlights the need for built-in security, and not the mere use of security tools as perimeter protection for apps and data. As a full-stack developer, by ensuring security is integrated at every stage of the product development cycle, you’ll set the stage for smoother, faster processes; reduced downtime, and the ability to address potential threats or vulnerabilities as they emerge (rather than dealing with the damage they may cause at the end of the project lifecycle).
Continuous improvement and innovation
Finally, having DevOps knowledge as a full-stack developer allows you to place greater focus and value on continual improvement and innovation.
With the increased speed at which DevOps is able to develop software products, solutions, and updates – developers have more time to focus on experimenting with new, additional features or upgrading existing ones. The rapid, iterative testing encouraged by this framework also allows you to verify the effectiveness of new ideas with minimal disruption to the overall process. This therefore enables a work culture in which constant experimentation and innovation can thrive, leading to solutions with greater competitive advantage.
Continuous testing and monitoring also allows developers to maintain a high level of quality and reliability among their products. This approach in DevOps can help them maximise the value of their outputs as well as constantly integrate the feedback of end users, developing solutions that lead to greater customer satisfaction. Additionally, with a more streamlined workflow, you may be able to deliver your solutions at a lower cost compared to competitors who don’t optimise DevOps.
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