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Bridging the Gap With DevOps at Smallpdf

by Mark Anthony Attard

DevOps Engineer at Smallpdf, Mark Anthony Attard, shares insights into how DevOps as a culture can bridge the gap between operations and development.

DevOps is generally considered as being a group of practices that work to combine IT operations and software development in a company or organization. The main idea of DevOps is to optimize the lifecycle of systems development and support delivery with high quality software.

What Is DevOps for Smallpdf?

 

In principle, DevOps practices allow developers to deploy their code to infrastructure using DevOps toolset and techniques. At Smallpdf, we believe that fostering a DevOps culture will go a long way to improve deployment, operations, infrastructure upkeep, cost control, and other areas where development and operations teams may interact.

The gap between operations and development teams is therefore closed by working together to design, build, test, and debug infrastructure and applications created by the teams.

DevOps as a Culture

 

Smallpdf’s DevOps culture aims to increase transparency, improve communication, and break down silos between cross-functional teams. Developers and DevOps engineers occasionally collaborate on activities with common goals. This kind of collaboration allows problems to be tackled quickly and cracked in the best possible way.

As DevOps engineers, we attempt to follow our suppliers’ best practices, which might range from cloud infrastructure to software as a service (SaaS) applications to custom-built applications.

There are occasions when DevOps engineers and developers work together to solve problems, and information is shared during the session. A deeply ingrained aspect of our culture’s that allows us to grow as a team is knowledge sharing.

By documenting the processes used by engineers to create objects, implement new stuff, discover new technologies, and fix issues ‌we might face, we can aid in better knowledge sharing and management.

DevOps & Collaboration

 

A collaborative job between DevOps and development teams, for example, would include starting initial discussions on what needs to be solved.

The discussion would include questions like:

  1. What problem are we solving?
  2. How might we solve this problem?

As we progress further into the discussions, the tool sets and technologies come into play.

Considering the above example, the development team can write the code, test locally, and push the code into repositories to ask for reviews and/or feedback from other peers. While this is being reviewed, DevOps is also working on the infrastructure, the place where the code will be deployed, in parallel.

The infrastructure comprises code version control, repositories, infrastructure as code tools, cloud environments, and last but not least, monitoring tools to oversee the tools’ performance.

DevOps Language

 

DevOps Engineers tend to use special terms. Here are few of them and what they mean:

Continuous Integration

 
  • The practice of automating pipeline deployment into software artifacts by integrating different tests in the process of reducing faulty code released to production.

  • Specialized tools can assist the engineers in configuring pipelines and standards across the organization to create deployment flows.

Continuous Delivery

 
  • The practice of creating pipelines that enable engineers to deploy their code quickly into production systems automatically.

Infrastructure as Code

 
  • In cloud environments, using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) enables engineers to deploy infrastructure using tools such as Terraform.

  • Such tools allow engineers to create blueprints of the infrastructure and will ease the need to scale up and down according to business needs.

Monitoring

 
  • A set of tools used to monitor the infrastructure based on the thresholds that are configured by the engineers.

  • Alerts can be set up to notify engineers if something goes wrong during work or after hours.

Logging

 
  • Logging allows engineers to debug issues in applications or even in infrastructure. Using logging, the application outputs events that are useful for analyzing and evaluating a particular situation.

  • Specialized tools are used to centralize log collection from different applications, whereby APM features can facilitate better traces.

By combining DevOps into a project management framework such as Agile and/or Scrum, engineers and product owners are enabled to create products that are frequently deployed and scaled to the market’s needs. In addition, this can also help to track down bugs and fix them earlier, overcome roadblocks, and anticipate market needs.

Enjoyed this post? You might like this article about stabilizing Keycloak at scale. Otherwise, look out for more info, insights, and tips from the engineers at Smallpdf coming soon on the blog.

Mark Anthony Attard
Mark Anthony Attard
DevOps Engineer @Smallpdf