This is a guest post by QA Symphony, DevOps expert and maker of 4 agile testing tools available in the Atlassian Marketplace.

Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world, and one of the key drivers of the current software boom is the rise of DevOps. A recent survey conducted by TechValidate shows that more than 73% of companies practicing Agile are also implementing DevOps to align communication and accelerate software delivery.

DevOps is often misconstrued as a specific release methodology like continuous delivery or continuous integration, however, it applies more broadly to a development model where development teams collaborate closely with operations teams. Unlike typical siloed development teams, organizations practicing DevOps break down the barriers between development and operations, often placing a member of each organization on each product team.

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With the changes in DevOps adoption comes a number of shifts in the way teams need to communicate. First, let’s look at some of the key success criteria related to DevOps communication tools and how to embrace these market shifts.

  • Customization: Can it integrate to the wealth of tools in today’s agile organizations? If not, the organization will end up with dozens of different tools and there will be no centralized platform for communication.
  • Scalable: The age old question: “Will it scale?” still rings true for DevOps tools. There are many easy to use, slick solutions for individuals but many of them fall apart when faced with the challenge of supporting thousands of users in the enterprise.
  • Real Time: With the rise of continuous delivery in DevOps, whole teams can become blocked when builds fail. Teams need to address these critical issues as quickly as possible to maintain efficiency.
  • Cross Platform: Teams are working from home and on the go more than ever, so communication tools need to allow collaboration across the different devices we have all come to rely on.

Given these criteria, we are bullish on a few critical categories of communication solutions that can help DevOps teams operate at the highest level.

3 critical tools for DevOps communication

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Chat/Instant Messenger Tools

Chat tools are a mature category, but they certainly aren’t all built the same. Good ones have easy to use mobile applications that allow you to be in touch with the team no matter where you are, and the best ones allow for customizable integration so you can trigger new chats/chat rooms based on critical operational factors such as a failing build. Chat bots are increasing in popularity, allowing busy members/teams to automate tasks and get insights with a quick chat message.

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Document Collaboration

Storing documents in central repositories has been around for years, but these legacy solutions no longer cut it in the DevOps world. They require you to download the files locally to work on them out of the typical desktop word processing tools, which does not support the mobile way we need to work. Additionally, you can only see edits on a document once it is re-uploaded. Modern solutions have great mobile apps to allow reading and editing on the go, and also allow team members to edit and comment on documents with each other in real time for true collaboration.

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Group Chat/Call

For years, organizations have used conference lines and video conferencing solutions to facilitate meetings with teams and members across the globe, typically with much less efficiency than in person meetings. Today’s modern group chatting and video calling applications allow for much more of an in-person experience by allowing for face to face interaction as well as the ability to collaborate on documents from within the session, even from mobile devices.
While DevOps may be eating software, the good news is that vendors are stepping up to the plate to build great tools to facilitate the communication that is essential to DevOps success. Go forth and find your tools in the Atlassian Marketplace today!

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