The DevOps system! Why it’s a perfect fit for for today’s economy

DevOps is here. And it works – often beautifully. But not everyone understands why it works so well … including plenty of people in the technology field. (And yes, that means some companies working in DevOps itself!)

You know it’s a process for developing software. You know it helps companies focus on their core competencies, by outsourcing work that isn’t within their expertise. And you know it (often) involves Agile, that method of making things happen faster by getting everyone on board.

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But if you’re thinking about moving to a DevOps model, it’s useful to know – in detail – the reasons DevOps works so well. (And what can go wrong if you don’t follow the approach properly.)

Not just a top-ten list of reasons … but the ultimate reason, the one that supports all the others.

So in this blog, we’d like to frame DevOps in terms of how it fits into the larger economic picture of the world. Including how the global economy has evolved to its present condition, and why DevOps is ideal for succeeding in it today, whatever sector you call home. Let’s get started.

DevOps: the ultimate evolution of outsourcing

To understand the beauty of the DevOps approach, here’s a thought experiment: remember the equations you learned in school?

Maybe you never liked math. Or physics. Or anything that involved algebra. But even if you found these subjects hard, you might have noticed how the equations that describe complex things actually look … wonderfully simple.

Einstein’s E = mc2 is just three terms, but it describes the incredible relationship between matter and energy. Newton’s work on gravitation, optics, and calculus (he was a man of many hobbies) fits the wonders of orbiting planets, photons from the sun, and the dynamics of instantaneous change (now that’s a weird concept) into a few short pages. There’s even an equation that tries to describe everything that can ever exist: ℝ⊗ℂ⊗ℍ⊗𝕆, known as the Dixon Algebra. (It’s a 64-dimensional cross-product of four different number systems, of which our 1,2,3,4 is just one. But you don’t need to know that.)

The Ultimate Reason DevOps works: to reach simplicity, overcome complexity

The point here is that these equations all look simple … but they didn’t start that way.

Einstein was forever adding extra terms and constants to his equation before he settled on the one we all know. Newton’s original book on calculus (he called them “fluxions” at the time) is crammed with superfluous symbols; few mathematicians today would understand it. And this applied across the whole of science. Methods for everything, from the movements of stars to the circulation of blood, were massively over-complicated.

Removing complications, with DevOps

Here’s how it changed: over time, as various clever people got to grips with these complicated concepts and their creators developed them further, they got simpler. And the more work they did, the simpler they became. Einstein boiled down his equations. Calculus lost its mysticism. And the movements of stars became possible to predict without consulting priests and witch-doctors.

Over time, complex things tend to settle into the simplest viable way of doing them.

And the same happens in the global economy.

As a product, service, or process competes in the market, the people responsible for it seek to improve efficiencies, become more productive, and drive down costs. (Because their competitors are doing the same.) That means sourcing from fewer suppliers. Using less raw material. Shortening the time-to-market. Maybe streamlining the feature set, so you’re not making things people never use. And so on.

And that’s the real reason DevOps enjoys such a great reputation for getting things done. Your outsourced development team may have a vast number of skills, and do hundreds of different tasks each day – but from their viewpoint, they’re making things simpler for their partners and customers. That doesn’t mean “easy” – just efficient and productive.

This is the biggest part of our Ultimate Reason: the DevOps team you outsource to has an incentive to make things simpler. Because that’s how they keep you as a client. When they integrate different systems, join diverse datasets, and rewrite code to cope with today’s jobs, they’re also trying to keep it as simple and straightforward as possible.

After all, every developer at Strypes knows that one day, they will have to teach a client’s requirements to someone else. That’s why we have a stern policy of documenting and systemising everything we do for our clients. Because you don’t want to trust your business applications to a single individual, however good that person is.

Competing in the global economy is about simplifying, being more efficient so you can do more with less. And that’s a basic feature of the DevOps approach, too.

Get the right division of labor, with DevOps

That leads us to the second part of our Ultimate Reason. Do you know how our modern economy got started?

A clue: it wasn’t any one product or process. The wheel, spoken language, the printing press – well, these were all essential inventions. But what really kicked off today’s globalized market was an economics concept called the division of labor.

If Ug the Caveman is good at fishing, and his cousin Og is better at hunting, it makes sense for Ug to bring home the salmon and Og to catch the deer. Each is doing what he’s best at, which maximizes his productivity. And if Ug wants meat instead of fish, he can trade a fish to Og and get some meat in exchange.

That’s division of labor. Down the centuries, as the economy developed, different people took on different roles to earn their income, and bought what they didn’t want to do themselves. It’s still happening, with new job descriptions and market needs increasing all the time. In fact, a deep division of labor is the key characteristic of a developed economy.

As you’ve guessed, DevOps is in sync with this trend, too.

Strypes’ team of developers spans an extraordinary range of skills, across the technology stack. Not everyone does everything – but for every task we perform for our clients, we assign someone with exactly the right skills. Someone whose talents are perfect for that job.

Compare that to an inhouse IT department. However good your people are, it’s unlikely you’ll get the best skillset for every task involving your software development, because that just takes too many people. By outsourcing – with a professional DevOps team, like Strypes – you can get the best solution of all.

Take advantage of global skills, with DevOps

Another part of our Ultimate Reason? It’s an expansion of that division-of-labor magic. Just as different people are good at different things, different places are good at different things too.

It’s not a new principle. (Not much in economics is.) The global economy didn’t just burst into life around 1851, when Britain’s Industrial Revolution was making waves. Ancient jewelry from China has been found in Egyptian tombs; coins from the Roman Empire have turned up all along the old Silk Roads; luxury cloth from imperial East Asia has been found in Istanbul and Sofia. Countries were famous for specific products centuries before “globalization” was a word.

(Here’s an interesting fact: the way your language says “tea” – whether it’s close to tea, like Spanish’s te or French’s thé, or closer to “cha”, like India’s “char” and China’s “cha”, signals whether your country got its tea from a seaborne route or an overland one. But let’s get back to DevOps.)

It’s not just because things cost less in some countries than others. (Although Strypes’ Bulgaria-based DevOps teams make us very competitive cost-wise.) It’s because as industries develop and people flock to cities in search of jobs, the depth of skills available to the market increases. That city (or nation, or valley) becomes well-known for its special talents … which leads more customers to seek suppliers there, and more young people qualifying and gaining experience in those skills.

This is why Strypes’ Nearsurance model with DevOps works so smoothly, for so many clients.

Because when you engage with Strypes, you’re behaving like a successful trade route. We put a team with business skills at your office, who analyze your business pains and look for solutions every day, then a remote DevOps team at our Bulgarian base, who create those solutions in code. (Bulgaria has been famous for skilled software development for decades.)

When you use Strypes, you’re taking advantage of this principle of global trade: getting your skills where the skills are strongest. It’s all part of our Ultimate Reason to use DevOps: you’re in perfect synchronization with the trends of the global economy.

An alignment of goals, with DevOps

All the economic parallels we’ve drawn, of course, involve capitalism – and some people don’t like that word. Some even call capitalism “exploitative”. In fact, capitalism (in its purest form, anyway) is the only social system that doesn’t exploit people.

How’s that? Because when two people trade successfully, both get the benefit. The buyer receives the product or service he values. The seller receives payment he wants. And the price, in a free and open market, is decided between them. If the price is too low, the seller won’t sell; if the price is too high, he won’t get any customers. This is another economics concept called the price mechanism. And it’s yet another part of the Ultimate Reason to adopt a DevOps model.

The price mechanism works because both sides have an aligned goal: to complete the transaction at a price they’re both happy with. The seller must have a high-quality product to attract customers. The buyer must be prepared to pay what’s fair. It’s a trade – but a fair trade.

So is, of course, an outsourced DevOps approach.

When you trust your software development to an outsourced team, their goal is the same as yours. To create the most efficient software for your challenge, that satisfies your needs as a customer. Because by doing so, the customer becomes happier … and keeps coming back for more. Which makes the outsource happy, too.

Some people think outsourcing means “losing control”. In fact, when you outsource to a party like Strypes, you gain control. Because we treat your goals … as our own. We’re aligned.

A sense of ownership, thanks to DevOps

Another great moment in the global economy: 1600, when British adventurers dreamed up the Honourable East India Company. As the first limited-liability joint-stock company, it was the first to separate a person’s business from the person him/herself: the company could hold wealth, make transactions, and be sold or sued as an entity in its own right. (218 merchants owned shares in that first venture.) It was such a great idea that the Dutch did the same less than two years later.

(The principle of a “company” wasn’t new – joint-stock companies existed in ancient China thousands of years ago. But they weren’t limited-liability. As you’d quickly find out if your business went bankrupt in the Imperial Court, and you tried to claim you weren’t liable for its debts.)

What makes the idea of a company so useful? It’s the way it can own things independently of the people in it. By owning more things – like products, cash, or intellectual property – the company becomes more valuable, and its shareholders become wealthier. Which most people would agree is a good thing.

Ownership is a great motivator to work hard and produce good outputs. And it’s another reason why DevOps is such a good fit for the way we work today.

At Strypes, your outsourced team isn’t merely a set of workers. In guarantees and Service Level Agreements, we take actual ownership of the development process, pledging to complete each challenge and solve each problem as it comes up in your business. Because we’ve found that’s a great way to build sustained, ongoing relationships with some of the world’s top companies.

Effective teamwork, with DevOps

Another positive outcome of limited-liability companies: they gave people from different backgrounds a reason to work together for mutual gain. As the global economy gained traction, it didn’t matter if your colleagues came from a distant city or another part of town: all that mattered is that you shared the desire to get each project completed on time and on budget. And that meant building bonds of friendship, trust, and shared understanding.

(Many management theorists believe the effectiveness of this teamwork is the only reason for a company to exist, and that the relationships between its people are the main determinant of the company’s success.)

In a functioning company, everyone knows what’s needed to make the company succeed, and everyone works together to achieve it.

Needless to say, effective teamwork is a huge part of our DevOps approach at Strypes. Many of our people have been with us since the start, forming different teams for each project and learning the ins and outs of individual clients.

It’s why our customers say they find us exceptionally easy to work with. Our nearsurance model is a big contributor: getting the balance right between the people at your office and the developers in ours is something we concentrate on very, very hard. Because we know those relationships lead to greater understanding, faster project delivery times, and ultimately better software for your business.

CONCLUSION: DevOps is the right approach for today … because it’s right for today’s economy

Making things easier, by removing complications. Being efficient, by engaging with the best people, wherever they are. Taking advantage of the global market, by trading with places where the skills are strongest.

That’s a description of the global economy. But it’s also a description of our DevOps methodology. And we believe that’s why DevOps with Strypes is the ideal solution to many software development challenges today.

In the ultra-complicated world of developing software, thinking simple is often a winning strategy. And aiming for simplicity the way the global economy does – by constantly improving processes, building relationships, creating better and better products that make it easier to compete – is the best of all.

If that sounds like something you’d benefit from, get in touch with Strypes:

The DevOps system! Why it’s a perfect fit for for today’s economy
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