The DevOps impact: Challenges, solutions, and community insights

What does it take for businesses to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape and how do they ensure their software delivery processes keep pace? These questions lie at the heart of the DevOps movement, a methodology that promises to change the way organizations develop and deploy software. 

But what exactly is DevOps, and what challenges do teams face when transitioning to this transformative methodology?

At its core, DevOps embodies a philosophy of removing friction from software delivery processes across various organizational value streams. So, this is not just about deploying code faster; it’s about establishing a culture of collaboration, automation, and relentless improvement. 

One of the foremost challenges lies in cultural transformation. Organizations entrenched in traditional silos must undergo a paradigm shift, breaking down barriers between departments and fostering cross-functional collaboration. This cultural evolution is essential for embracing a holistic approach to software delivery, where teams are united by a common goal of delivering value to clients.

Tool selection and implementation pose another significant obstacle. DevOps relies heavily on automation and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) tools. Selecting the right tools tailored to an organization’s unique needs and seamlessly integrating them into existing systems can be complex and resource-intensive.

Moreover, integrating security practices into the DevOps workflow, known as DevSecOps, presents a multifaceted challenge. Ensuring that security is ingrained in the development process from inception demands a cultural shift towards a security-first mindset.

Measuring success and driving continuous improvement are also formidable tasks. Identifying meaningful metrics to gauge the effectiveness of DevOps practices and leveraging these insights to fuel ongoing enhancements require strategic foresight and commitment.

How is it for the companies themselves to adapt to such changes and successfully implement DevOps methodologies within their organizational frameworks?

For Hrvoje Pindric, engineering manager at communications software company Infobip, as the company grew over time from 500 to 3,200 employees, they faced challenges in how to scale better. 

Infrastructure was growing, the number of employees, services, projects too, while ‘sys admins’ were at around the same numbers. Therefore, the company came to an early conclusion that if it wants to grow further, it will need to continue working in the DevOps direction and follow its principles. 

Adopting DevOps wasn’t an adoption, but rather a natural thing to do. Growing at this pace calls for abandoning old school practices (such as administering servers manually, not using gitops etc.) and trying something new and doing iterative improvements through the time. Over time we have tried many setups and today we’ve ended up using all of them, depending on the situation we are facing,” he tells IT Logs. 

Over time, the company experimented with various setups to meet the evolving needs of our organization. Initially, it established a central DevOps team to address the shortage of resources and provide global support to product teams, although managing numerous stakeholders presented challenges. 

Subsequently, Infobip also introduced a “Rent’a’devops” model, allowing product teams to request assistance from the central DevOps team for complex issues, fostering collaboration and problem-solving within predefined timeframes. This approach yielded promising results and became a regular practice, Pindric says. 

Moreover, recognizing the differing needs of certain product teams, the company also implemented dedicated DevOps support for specific projects, resulting in accelerated code delivery, improved software reliability, and enhanced incident management. This tailored approach proved effective in optimizing team performance and addressing unique challenges across the organization.

“Another success we’ve had is with lateral movement of our DevOps Engineers. When teams encountered an issue, we would assign them one or more DevOps Engineers to assist in finding the root of the problem and participate in developing the solution,” he explains. 

How long does it take to build the ideal DevOps team, and in fact, is there such a thing as an ideal team? According to Maria Konareva, senior project and account manager at Ukrainian-founded Sigma Software Group, it’s a process that always needs to be perfected.

“A few years back, DevOps just started to be super popular worldwide and everybody wanted to have DevOps. The first challenge we faced is that clients asked for the build engineers for a lot of things, but not for DevOps. My answer was “We do not have that. We have DevOps, it’s about the culture, it’s about the change in IT mindset, and we built and trained all our guys actually based on this opinion. So they can do all of that, but they are bigger than just release engineers or mobile engineers or something like that because again it’s about the culture.” Konareva, who is in charge of creating DevOps units at Sigma Software, tells IT Logs. 

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When this started, we had like 5 or 6 DevOps, and right now in our unit, it’s about 30 DevOps engineers and a quite big community. The specificity of our work is that we do not have a big team of DevOps. We have different clients and different projects, but in most cases, we have one or two people on the project because we do not have a team of 20 DevOps as, for example, in the bank system,” Konareva further explains.


As she says, the main goal was to combine several people together and to make them feel that they are part of the unit, a part of a bigger team, and in the end, a community. 

“We did the community and started introducing DevOps meetups inside our unit and it’s still working. Every Friday, our DevOps gathers together and discuss some innovations, and different approaches, and share some experience or some interesting cases. We also have a database when we have different sources, different scripts, and documents to share,” Konareva tells IT Logs. 

For DevOps engineer Paul Chubatyy, former staff engineer at LinkedIn with more than 17 years of software development experience, the most important realization was that being in a DevOps team is not a race is what makes it an “ideal” team.

At the clock, we in the team, or as I call it club, decided that there was no race there. We are not overstepping. We’re just collaborating and working to make each other better, to help each other improve, and to share knowledge. Sounds similar to what Maria does with their meetups, but it was done for the team within the team and by the team. We need to be able to step out of work at any point in time because everybody has a child. At the same time, everybody else would be willing to step up and help cover that particular thing,” Chubatyy explains.

Furthermore, according to Chubatyy,the part of the culture that people are working together and are consciously working on getting better, improving themselves and improving each other is making the DevOps team stand out and the DevOps culture to prosper.”

Just like in the case of Sigma Software, industries such as the one in Croatia have also seen the establishment of DevOps communities, where an abundance of knowledge is shared between its members. Initiatives like the DevOps Club, led by Croatian tech enthusiasts, provide a platform for practitioners to exchange experiences, seek advice, and collectively advance the DevOps ethos. 

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Ivan Krnic and Hrvoje Kovačević have been at the helm of the DevOps community in Croatia. For both of them, the process of establishing such a community has proven to be a learning curve for their respective companies as well. 

DevOps not only aims to remove friction from delivery processes but also to foster a culture of continuous improvement, learning, and adaptability in the face of changing needs and technologies,” says Hrvoje Kovačević, head of infrastructure at Croatian AI startup Mindsmiths.

According to him, adopting DevOps necessitates a cultural shift when dealing with lots of different issues that can come up at the same time, such as navigating complex tool selection and integration, or integrating security practices.

Hrvoje Kovačević and Ivan Krnic

All this looked like an insurmountable problem to deal with effectively while battling the startup challenges as part of Mindsmiths. The only way for me to solve this was to gather a network of experts with pieces of the “DevOps puzzle” around me. The idea was that I would help others with the expertise I gather on my path but have someone to rely on with all the important pieces I am missing.” he tells IT Logs. 

For Krnic, who is director of engineering at the cloud-native development company CROZ, while the industry agrees there is a need for a more humane, software delivery process, the message is yet to reach most companies. 

The DevOps community amplifies these messages. In 2023, we started a DevOps Club meetup that facilitates conversations in which DevOps practitioners share their experiences and provide proof that better ways of working are possible. In tandem with local podcasts and newsletters, the DevOps Club meetup forms a unique platform for discussions and exchanging experiences, making better software development the norm rather than the exception,” Krnic concludes.

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