Today, more and more organizations are focused on delivering new digital solutions to customers and finding that the need for increased agility, improved processes, and collaboration between development and operation teams is becoming business-critical. For over a decade, DevOps has been the answer to these challenges. Understanding the need for DevOps is one thing, but the actual adoption of DevOps in the real world is a whole other challenge. How can an organization with multiple teams and projects, with deeply rooted existing processes, and with considerable legacy software change its ways and embrace DevOps?
At Microsoft, we know something about these challenges. As a company that has been building software for decades, Microsoft consists of thousands of engineers around the world that deliver many different products. From Office, to Azure, to Xbox we also found we needed to adapt to a new way of delivering software. The new era of the cloud unlocks tremendous potential for innovation to meet our customers’ growing demand for richer and better experiences—while our competition is not slowing down. The need to accelerate innovation and to transform how we work is real and urgent.
The road to transformation is not easy and we believe that the best way to navigate this challenging path is by following the footsteps of those who have already walked it. This is why we are excited to share our own DevOps journey at Microsoft with learnings from teams across the company who have transformed through the adoption of DevOps.
More than just tools
An organization’s success is achieved by providing engineers with the best tools and latest practices. At Microsoft, the One Engineering System (1ES) team drives various efforts to help teams across the company become high performing. The team initially focused on tool standardization and saw some good results—source control issues decreased, build times and build reliability improved. But over time it became clear that the focus on tooling is not enough, to help teams, 1ES had to focus on culture change as well. Approaching culture change can be tricky, do you start with quick wins, or try to make a fundamental change at scale? What is the right engagement model for teams of different sizes and maturity levels? Learn more about the experimental journey of the One Engineering System team.
Redefining IT roles and responsibilities
The move to the cloud can challenge the definitions of responsibilities in an organization. As development teams embrace cloud innovation, IT operations teams find that the traditional models of ownership over infrastructure no longer apply. The Manageability Platforms team in the Microsoft Core Service group (previously Microsoft IT), found that the move to Azure required rethinking the way IT and development teams work together. How can the centralized IT model be decentralized so the team can move away from mundane, day-to-day work while improving the relationship with development teams? Explore the transformation of the Manageability Platforms team.
Streamlining developer collaboration
Developer collaboration is a key component of innovation. With that in mind, Microsoft open-sourced the .NET framework to invite the community to collaborate and innovate on .NET. As the project was open-sourced over time, its scale and complexity became apparent. The project spanned over many repositories, each with its own structure using multiple different continuous integration (CI) systems, making it hard for developers to move between repositories. The .NET infrastructure team at Microsoft decided to invest in streamlining developer processes. That challenge was approached by focusing on standardizing repo structure, shared tooling, and converging on a single CI system so both internal and external contributors to the project would benefit. Learn more about the investments made by the .NET infrastructure team.
A journey of continuous learning
DevOps at Microsoft is a journey, not a destination. Teams adapt, try new things, and continue to learn how to change and improve. As there is always more to learn, we will continue to share the transformation stories of additional teams at Microsoft in the coming months. As an extension of this continuous internal learning journey, we invite you to join us on the journey and learn how to embrace DevOps and empower your teams to build better solutions, faster and deliver them to happier customers.
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