DevOps: Building the Continuous Delivery Toolchain

DevOps is a capability that aligns culture, practices, and tools so that organizations can deliver high quality software at top velocity.

The two mainstays of DevOps are the CAMS model and the Three Ways. 

  • CAMS - Culture, Automation, Measurement, Sharing. 
  • The Three Ways - Flow <> Feedback <> Experimentation.

For DevOps to flourish, an understanding of culture and flow must come first. With the right perspective, teams can then use a common set of interwoven tools, or a toolchain, to streamline and accelerate routine work.

DevOps culture, practices, and tools culminate in continuous delivery: the ability to release on demand. 

Toward that end, we provide this step-by-step guide to building your own toolchain from scratch. This guide is intended to be read alongside broader works, like The DevOps Handbook.

Each tool in the chain is covered in turn, and you may already have some bits in place. Feel free to adopt and adapt our examples to meet your own needs. 

You do not need to implement the entire chain at once. If you are already using an agile methodology, a very good approach is to devote a portion of each iteration to building the chain step by step and introducing change at a steady rate. 

(tick) One rule of thumb is to invest 20% of your velocity into continuous improvement. The dividends are astounding!

The toolchain is the foundation of a larger process often called the Continuous Delivery Pipeline. Although we may refer to the process as a chain, or a pipeline, continuous delivery is a loop. Many of the tools, or practices, provide feedback for future deliveries. 

For more about the totality of DevOps, see 

Put 1st things 1st

Synergize

Seek first to understand, and then to be understood

Begin with the end in mind

Retrospect

Be proactive

Teach the habits

Sharpen the saw

While these 31 practices are not the only tools you will want in your shed, you will find that each one is essential to effective continuous delivery.