DevOps, ChatOps, Conversation Platforms, Apps and Bots Oh Boy — RigD

DevOps has taken the application and operations community by storm. The unification of application development and application operations has already shown profound effects on the application lifecycle of service/product ideation, architecture, build, test, deploy, configure and operate. Where traditionally application development was owned by the business, or lines of business, operations was typically owned by the IT department (heck they owned the data center, servers, network and everything that one needed to stand up infrastructure for the application to run on). These two silos oftentimes did not work together and finger pointing was commonplace. Common scenarios where software worked in unit test and integration test, but failed miserably at scale operating in the wild of real customers in real data centers. Small changes in infrastructure can cause catastrophic problems with applications. It was the era when applications were developed for the specific infrastructure it was going to run on and the binding was indeed brittle.

With the advent of cloud computing, we start to see the beginning of loose coupling of applications and their infrastructure. This is not to say that the finger pointing between the development teams coding and testing their applications and the IT operations team deploying, configuring and operating the software/applications ended, the pressure only increased with the velocity of innovation. DevOps and the culture and processes underpinning it enabled intense collaboration between application development and application operations.

DevOps & Automation

ChatOps

There are many examples of ChatOps placing key developer or operations tools into the conversation between developers and testing Q/A. Beyond Joe talking to Jane about a new use case or defect in the code and getting a fix into production for active testing, ChatOps places a key tool into the conversation like JIRA for bug tracking or Loggly for sending operational alerts into a slack channel. Let’s say you are a high performing team doing a ton of development in a microservices architecture and you have many moving parts. The good news is that you are using containers or even Serverless architectures so you don’t have to worry about infrastructure, but the complexity has moved up the stack into all of those microservices and how they work together. Monitoring a code change as it moves through your pipeline is made very easy with ChatOps as you see all the notification and alerts from your build and test system in your slack channel and your team can comment and collaborate directly in that channel. You even can see the operational alerts coming in as your application goes live. All good things happen to the DevOps model when ChatOps are being used.

Conversational Platforms

The following graphic shows the construct of ChatOps.

Apps for those Platforms

Slack has a greater number of apps and even segments the apps into categories:

There are hundreds of Slack Apps that are considered Bots. As you can see these Slack or Hipchat Apps or Bots run the gamut in functionality from personal productivity, to analytics to integrations. We have multiple bots for example in Slack at RigD that are both home grown and commercially available (more on this topic in a later blog).

From Web Crawlers to Bots

Parting Shots

Check out RigD’s videos and guides here.

Originally published at www.rigd.io on July 11, 2018.

#prodmgmt and marketing exec/consultant on strategy/execution, author, coach, 41k miles cyclist