Online education portals like Udacity and Coursera are really changing the world of remote learning in significant ways. By making free and high quality education accessible to a global audience, these platforms are opening up undreamt of possibilities for communities around the world to improve, grow, and prosper in the digital economy of the 21st century. Education at top tier colleges and universities has traditionally been a social and economic privilege, but now anyone can join in the learning revolution by sitting in virtual classrooms with the world’s best and brightest educators. Whether this involves learning how to code and build smart phone apps, or starting up a new business, or learning about public health literacy, the sky is the limit of what’s now possible.

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DevOps strategies & best practices – part 1

devops 3The revolutions in Mobile and Cloud computing in the past couple of years have transformed the way organizations do business. We live in an age where mobile devices are now the PCs of choice and mobile apps are the ubiquitous software of choice in this digital era. The new paradigm in cloud computing has led to quicker and more agile frameworks for managing that software.


It used to be that software release cycles would take upwards of 18-24 months or more. But with the innovations spurred on by the “consumerization of IT” and heightened customer demands, companies today are hard-pressed to get applications out the door as fast as possible.


The need for creating a novel software application from “soup to nuts” is about 3 months for an initial version and upwards of 6 months for the full feature set. And not only has the lifecycle shortened but apps have become much more complex and require cross-collaboration and integration between various IT constituents, such as Operations, Development, and Q&A in ways previously unimagined. The result has been a new discipline known as DevOps.



So What is DevOps and Why it is Important?


Someone has aptly called attention to DevOps as “Just the (Necessary) Consumerization of Software Development.” We agree with this assessment. DevOps has gained a tremendous amount of market buzz in recent years. But it’s not just a new trend! DevOps really does describe a substantial epic shift in how businesses manage their computing services.


Following the lead of one source, DevOps can be aptly defined as follows:


DevOps is an emerging set of principles, methods and practices for communication, collaboration and integration between software development (application/software engineering) and IT operations (systems administration/infrastructure) professionals. It has developed in response to the emerging understanding of the interdependence and importance of both the development and operations disciplines in meeting an organization’s goal of rapidly producing software products and services.


This is a big statement, but at its core DevOps is really a cultural shift as much as a technology and process change. Simply put, this new paradigm recognizes that to avoid falling through the cracks businesses today must move high quality software applications out the door as fast as possible.


DevOps is about excellent customer service, cost savings, and increased efficiency. But it’s also just as much about different business units being agile, adaptable, and flexible enough to work together to produce excellent products and services. DevOps is best summed up as a new way for people, process, and technology to work together in organic harmony.








What’s in Store?


To explore this exciting topic further, we’re kicking off a 5 part series that will highlight DevOps strategies and best practices. It’s also important to mention that DevOps is not a simple push-button solution. It takes hard work and trial and error. DevOps is complex and has many moving parts and this survey will necessarily be high level. But there are some clear guidelines that can help ease the path if you’re moving in this direction. Here’s a sketch of the topics to be discussed in this series:


Introduction: What is DevOps and why it’s important?


Strategies: Moving from A to B though Executive Buy-in, Building a Roadmap, Continuous Software Delivery, Automation, and Cultural Change


Best practices: Action items to make DevOps central to your organization


Wrap up: Bringing it all together



In Part 2 we’ll begin by looking at some practical ways your organization can get started with DevOps today.


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About Jeffrey Walker

Jeff is a business development consultant who specializes in helping businesses grow through technology innovations and solutions. He holds multiple master’s degrees from institutions such as Andrews University and Columbia University, and leverages this background towards empowering people in today’s digital world. He currently works as a research specialist for a Fortune 100 firm in Boston. When not writing on the latest technology trends, Jeff runs a robotics startup called, along with oversight and leadership of - an emerging market assistance company that helps businesses grow through innovation.