Maximise remote working with these DevOps best practices

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With the world normalising remote and hybrid work, most developers seem to be getting fond of their new work environment, with only 11% of developers expecting to return to the office. In this distributed world of hybrid work, it’s critical to ensure every developer can stay productive and have full visibility into the software development pipeline.

Enter DevOps – a development methodology that prioritises close collaboration between traditionally siloed teams, and automates as much of the software development lifecycle as possible. Three key DevOps best practices can help developers looking to reap the benefits of working remotely.

Use automation to eliminate repetitive tasks

Distributed teams often struggle with collaboration, employee and project tracking, and team management. One of the best ways to alleviate these challenges is to employ a more streamlined work experience using automated tools.

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As a developer, you’ve probably done some automated testing and maybe some automated builds, too. Brushing up on automation and CI/CD can make your work a little easier. Teams that use an automated CI/CD platform can increase the number of merged pull requests by 36% and shrink time to merge by 33%. When automating repetitive tasks like environment setups, data manipulation UIs, or application deployment scripting, teams report performing 27% better in open source and 43% better at work.

Various automated testing tools enable developers to speed up parts of their workflow, such as merging code or running tests. These tools can help teams work more efficiently, ensuring code is compiled correctly and that the code that’s pushed will perform, making it easy to deploy to production. By adopting a good CI/CD platform, teams can test their code each time they push to the server, preventing potential glitches.

Implement tools for flexibility and speed

Tools or pre-configured environments hosted in the cloud can make it easier to write, test, build, and deploy software, no matter where you work. Using a cloud-hosted integrated development environment can come with significant benefits for developers who want to work remotely.

For one thing, they mean you can start coding in seconds on anything from an iPad to Chromebook since they’re hosted in the cloud. They also offer the ability to collaborate on multiple development branches, deploy hundreds of changes per day, and spin up development environments for new hires quickly.

By embedding cloud-native tools into the development workflow, teams can streamline communication, ensure their applications are able to scale, and guarantee projects and organisations can continue to grow with a remote workforce, which is especially important considering the number of remote jobs increased by 12% in 2021 over 2020.

Find a common language

Front-end development can be time-intensive, requiring finesse which can be difficult with distributed teams. YAML, one of the primary languages powering popular declarative automation, can help simplify front-end configuration and automate repetitive tasks.

For example, YAML for front matter is a technique used to define and describe pages rendered into HTML by static site generators and a helpful way to save time. YAML can also be used to build automation workflows that can better equip multiple teams to work concurrently on a test server rather than waiting on their turn.

It helps even more if it’s a human-readable language, which means it’s an easy-to-write and easy-to-read language that does away with a lot of the typical brackets, braces, and quotes. That makes it easier for developers to build out automation and CI/CD workflows. It also makes it easier for teams to communicate what each part of a workflow is and does—and that’s a big benefit for hybrid teams.

(Re)Learning how to work

Software has become integral to every facet of our lives, from autonomous vehicles to drone delivery systems, and more. But developers only have so many hours in the workday. By embracing a DevOps mindset, teams can take advantage of global collaboration, communication, and teamwork, which are crucial for successfully moving your software from development to production. From hiring across different regions and time zones to investing in the developer experience and happiness at work, organisations that embrace these new methodologies can recognise a positive effect on productivity, satisfaction, and retention.

Overall, embedding these practices into the organisation culture can help foster collaboration and increase innovation, ensuring developers can do their best work, regardless of where they work, and continue to focus on what matters most: building great software.