Adopting No-code DevOps - A More Effective DevOps Team
No-code tools continue to gain popularity as a way to allow non-technical users to create applications that used to require custom code. Lately, however, this same revolution has been coming to DevOps platforms, which have traditionally needed custom code to configure, debug, and run. This new approach makes DevOps platforms much more accessible—organizations of any size can take advantage of no-code platforms without the substantial investment of time and money that traditional platforms require. These platforms allow them to be more efficient and complete their work more consistently, resulting in more resilient infrastructure and better environments for all the other developers in their organization.
In this article, you'll take a look at some of the benefits of no-code DevOps platforms, as well as who in your organization might benefit from adopting some of these new platforms themselves.
What is No-Code DevOps?
At its core, no-code DevOps is an umbrella term that encompasses any DevOps platform that doesn't require coding to be usable. Tech has been struggling with a talent shortage [for several years](https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-01-17-gartner-survey-shows-global-talent-shortage-is-now-the-top-emerging-risk-facing-organizations), and that shortage is only worsening. No-code platforms allow businesses to look to citizen developers to fill some of these gaps, a strategy that many large organizations have already adopted. In 2019, forty-one percent of respondents to a Gartner survey already had active citizen development initiatives in place, and another twenty percent were interested in creating one.
Citizen development can greatly accelerate digital transformation, and no-code DevOps platforms give teams a way to access the benefits of having a robust DevOps infrastructure without needing to sacrifice speed, agility, and precious developer hours to tedious integrations and writing glue code. No-code platforms are usually built with drag-and-drop pieces or point-and-click integration, allowing users to easily build pipelines and automate tasks. These platforms are inherently agile, and enable DevOps teams to work more efficiently, while also ensuring that tooling, metrics, and insights are more accessible to teammates with less traditional infrastructure skills.
While platforms like these aren't for everyone, for teams that want to make their DevOps tooling more consistent and transparent, and to ensure the entire team is on the same page, adopting a no-code DevOps stack can be a great way to achieve that goal.
What are the Benefits of No-Code DevOps?
No-code DevOps platforms can offer many benefits to teams. In addition to offering more speed and agility, they also work with your existing DevOps stacks, and allow for easy integration of new tools. Let's take a look at some of these possible benefits.
More Effective and Empowered DevOps Team
With most of the traditional DevOps platforms, integrating a new tool would be tedious and time-consuming. The team could spend a significant amount of time reading documentation, figuring out the best path to integration, and maybe even having to learn a new language or framework. Using a no-code platform that already has an extensive library of integrations means that DevOps teams can get their tools integrated faster and more efficiently than doing it themselves. This empowers teams to choose the tools that are best suited to their use cases, without having to worry about the learning curve.
When new tools are difficult to configure or add to the pipeline, they're sometimes ignored completely, which can have a negative impact on software quality and platform resilience, and make the developer experience one of frustration. When new tooling is easy to integrate, though, DevOps teams are more productive, and are empowered to iterate on their pipelines and ensure that the software they are helping deliver is the best it can possibly be.
This also improves employee retention: studies show that employees are happier when they're performing meaningful work. For development teams, this means automating away some of the more tedious and unrewarding tasks, allowing the team to focus on the most engaging and important parts of their work.
More Focus on Shipping Core Products
Even with all the automation that exists in the software development ecosystem, developers are busier than ever. Time that a DevOps team spends configuring a deployment pipeline or debugging integrations is time they can't spend working on the core product or their core duties. By using no-code DevOps platforms, DevOps teams can spend less time focusing on how to integrate new DevOps tooling into their pipelines, and more time focusing on supporting the specific use cases of their organization's software.
With the time saved by a no-code DevOps platform, DevOps professionals can do several things, including focusing on thinking proactively about the future needs of the codebase and focusing on paying down technical debt.
Faster Go-To Market
Nothing kills momentum like not being able to deploy newly-written code due to a broken deployment pipeline or an obscure setting in a tool that your pipeline uses. As businesses look to go to market faster and get new products and features delivered to customers as quickly as possible, you don't want deployment to be the thing that holds up a code release. No-code DevOps platforms make it easier than ever to spin up new pipelines, or to add tools to support new features or requirements to existing pipelines.
When the DevOps team can act as an accelerant to the work being done in the rest of the organization, new products and features can get delivered even faster, while still leveraging the code quality benefits of having a robust DevOps pipeline. Additionally, the ability to iterate on this pipeline quickly means it will be much less likely to be a blocker to progress, even as business and technical requirements evolve.
Narrows the DevOps Skill Gap
Especially in recent years, the demand for DevOps talent has exploded, but there hasn't been a corresponding increase in skilled DevOps professionals to keep up with this demand. No-code DevOps platforms open up the field, and allow people with general software experience—but not specific DevOps experience—to get started in the DevOps space. No-code DevOps platforms can be an incredibly powerful way for organizations to get started with DevOps, and can allow organizations who haven't previously had a DevOps team get started before even making their first DevOps-specific hire.
For example, a traditional DevOps platform usually requires that the DevOps team know how to use things such as YAML or JSON for configuration. Depending on the integrations your team requires, some tools require custom code to integrate them. No-code DevOps platforms avoid this by coming pre-packaged with many popular integrations. They use concepts like drag and drop instead of YAML or JSON-based configuration, and make the DevOps practice more accessible to those who don’t have years of coding or infrastructure-as-code experience.
No-code platforms can help new teammates get started without being overwhelmed by all the configuration and intricacies of more traditional platforms. By narrowing the skill gap, no-code DevOps platforms make developing higher-quality software possible, even with less-specific resources.
Who Benefits From No-Code DevOps Platforms?
The benefit of no-code DevOps platforms is well distributed across all levels. DevOps engineers benefit because they can get their work done faster and more consistently. They're not spending hours or days learning esoteric, domain-specific languages for tools they need to integrate into their pipeline, and can quickly spin up new pipelines and add new tools to ensure the code they're shipping is as high quality and bug free as possible.
In addition, because of the visually oriented nature of no-code DevOps platforms, they're often more understandable, and can help teams communicate more effectively. New team members won't have to dig through mountains of configuration files to understand how the existing DevOps platform is used, and can instead almost immediately see where the team is and what their processes are.
Managers of these teams benefit, as well. By having more effective teams working underneath them, they're able to solve difficult business problems more quickly. The organization as a whole also benefits, since better DevOps tooling and a more effective DevOps team means more resilient infrastructure. This has all sorts of trickle-down effects, including less downtime, fewer customer complaints from bugs that got accidentally shipped, among others.
Even outside the organization itself, a company’s end customer benefits from an organization using no-code DevOps platforms, as the software that ends up getting shipped is of a higher quality with fewer frustrating bugs. As an end user, you may not know what sort of DevOps tools your vendors are using, however you definitely notice when software is buggy. No-code DevOps platforms help teams avoid as many bugs as possible, creating a more enjoyable experience for their customers and end users.
With benefits all the way up and down the organization, it's not surprising that no-code DevOps platforms are gaining popularity in organizations of all sizes.
As time goes on, no-code tools are only going to get more popular, and for good reason. They help all sorts of people do their jobs more effectively and with less hassle. When DevOps teams can deliver their software more reliably and spend less time on configuration that's not specific to their application, everyone in the organization benefits—and the end users of said software do as well.
If you're ready to embrace the no-code DevOps revolution, look no further than Opsera, which allows DevOps teams to automate any CI/CD toolchain, with no coding required. You choose your tools, and Opsera takes care of the rest. You can use Opsera to build the perfect CI/CD stack for your organization’s goals.
With the advent of no-code platforms, a robust DevOps solution is more accessible than ever, even for smaller or less mature organizations. By embracing this new generation of platforms, it won't be long before your organization sees many of the benefits outlined above and can leverage those benefits to ship even better software.