DevOps process: What it is and its basic principles

DevOps process: What it is and its basic principles

Today, the DevOps process is among the most discussed software development approaches, and for good reason: Drawing upon a set of DevOps principles, it focuses on adopting a more collaborative approach that breaks away from traditionally siloed teams. At the same time, it enables teams to leverage best practices and tools, in order to deliver applications much faster — and, more efficiently — than conventional software development models and methodologies. 

That said, let’s see what the DevOps process looks like, and what are its core principles.

Which are the principles that guide the DevOps process?

Being a practical methodology, DevOps is based on certain principles that guide the DevOps process. By using these DevOps principles as a framework, teams can work much more efficiently together, to bring value to end-users. 

Although one can find several applicable principles at the core of DevOps, each company and team choose to implement the ones that suit their goals best. Here, we touch on some of the most important ones:

1. Communication and collaboration

Undoubtedly, the success of the DevOps process hinges on effective communication and collaboration among the DevOps team members. Besides, streamlining communication and collaboration — while eliminating team silos — is a fundamental cultural aspect of DevOps. 

2. Automation

Even though automation is a DevOps practice, first and foremost, it constitutes a central DevOps principle. In fact, automation reinforces all of the other DevOps principles. Why? Because it promotes better communication and collaboration, by allowing teams to automate time-consuming — and, possibly redundant — tasks. As a result, they have more time to work together on more creative pursuits. 

In this regard, automation also facilitates innovation, observability, as well as continuous improvement; thus, ensuring that the DevOps process loop runs smoothly and consistently. 

3. Observability

Observability is monitoring the state of the DevOps process, and further investigating arising issues. Similarly with automation, observability is a Devops practice, however, it is a principle too, since it fosters a proactivity — and security — mindset in DevOps teams. 

4. Continuous Improvement

Another important DevOps principle is the concept of continuous improvement. According to this principle, the DevOps team is always finding ways to make the service or product — and the DevOps process itself — better. Better, as in enhanced reliability, performance, security, and user-experience, among other things. Therefore, to implement continuous improvement, the DevOps team naturally follows agile practices, like Continuous Integration/ Continuous Delivery (CI/CD), and others. 

A comment on continuous improvement

Be that as it may, we should highlight that the continuous improvement process does not imply that teams must focus on perfecting the new code or functionality to release it — that approach wouldn’t be agile. On the contrary, effective DevOps teams release the code or feature as early and frequently as possible — given that it’s functional. Afterward, they monitor it to gain insights and follow subsequent release cycles to improve it.

What is the DevOps process, and how does it work?

The DevOps process comprises a series of repeatable stages succeeding one another in a seamless flow. In each stage, the Development and Operations teams come together to collaborate following the CI/CD pipeline. In this way, the orderly DevOps process flow ensures continuity, consistency and agility in the development of an application. 

Let’s elaborate on these stages, to better understand how the DevOps process works.

1. Planning

The planning stage typically starts with determining the required resources for developing the application. Then, it continues with outlining and scheduling the proper tasks toward that goal, based on Αgile Development frameworks. In other words, this stage helps the development and operations teams to understand what they’re trying to achieve; thus, what they need to work on, when, how, and why.

2. Developing and reviewing

This is where teams develop and review their source code. Once they ensure its consistency, they merge the code into the production environment. The code development and review stage ensures the efficiency and productivity of the development process.

3. Building

This is the stage where DevOps automation begins to take effect. During the building stage, the developers do frequent changes to the codebase several times a day. The DevOps teams continuously check the changes in the shared repository, and run configuration change controls, to rule out integration issues, and fix bugs early in the development lifecycle.

4. Testing

Once the building stage is complete, the build is automatically deployed to a staging environment for in-depth testing. The testing stage is an integral part of the DevOps process, as it minimizes issues and ensures the high quality — and smooth performance — of the software.

5. Releasing

When the build successfully passes the testing stage, it goes through a change management process, to make sure it’s ready to be released to the end-users. The release stage is a critical aspect of the DevOps process as it secures standardization, and improves deployment efficiency.

6. Deploying

In this stage, the new release (changed code) gets deployed in the production rollout. Nonetheless, deployment does not end here, as it happens with all stages of the DevOps process, after all. This stage unfolds in continuous deployments in the production environment, on a daily basis. As long as the new releases have a use, DevOp teams will keep taking them through rolling deployments.

7. Operating

After the developers’ work is complete and the code has gone live, the operations team takes over to make sure everything goes as planned, and that the infrastructure is secure and scalable. To do that, the Ops team relies on end-user feedback. Based on their feedback, they use the right automation tools and processes to configure and manage the live code in the production environment. 

8. Monitoring 

This is the stage in the DevOps process where the Ops team monitors the application environment, to ensure stable performance. In addition to performance monitoring, this stage also calls for logging, creating smart alerts, and so on. Drawing from the customer feedback that the team collected in the previous stage, the team now runs analytics on customer behavior, bugs and errors, etc. When monitoring is complete, at least at this point in the DevOps loop, the team feeds the data back to the development team, to maintain the continuity of the DevOps process. 


As more businesses migrate to the Cloud, DevOps will continue to revolutionize the way software is built, deployed, operated, and distributed to end-users. Yet, to be able to do that, and lead businesses through digital transformation, teams need to implement the DevOps process — along with the right mix of DevOps principles — into their daily pipeline. With these in place, DevOps teams can collaborate much more effectively towards improving the quality of the software, and speeding up the time-to-market.