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Navigating the DevOps Shift: Insights from a Developer's Journey to the Cloud

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Embarking on a DevOps journey within an organization that’s still adapting to cloud technologies can be both challenging and enlightening. At my current company, we’re navigating this shift, and it’s been an intriguing journey so far. As a developer with a diverse background spanning Python data engineering, iOS development, and now the .NET ecosystem, I’ve always found joy in sharing my learnings. Whether it’s unraveling the intricacies of a new programming language or diving into the nuances of cloud deployment, teaching, to me, is as fulfilling as learning.

Transitioning to the Cloud

In our organization’s initial foray into cloud adoption, they opted for a transitional approach—a classic lift-and-shift strategy. This meant migrating our workload from on-premise servers to Azure VMs. While it’s a pragmatic step to gain quick traction in the cloud, it also presents unique challenges, especially when Azure offers more sophisticated solutions like Azure App Services and containerization. Terms that resonate with some, but sound scary and dangerous to others.

Growing with Experience

My upcoming blogs will document this transition, focusing on practical tutorials and insights garnered along the way. In the first installment, I’ll delve into deploying applications to Azure VMs using Azure Pipelines. The goal is explaining why using YAML pipelines is superior to using classic, and I’ll share strategies and best practices for organizations navigating the cloud with limited expertise, relying on VMs instead of more advanced Azure services.

The fun part is that I’m also studying for my cloud certifications on the go, therefore growing in experience as I keep documenting this journey. As I’m currently writing, I’m mostly working in a hybrid environment consisting of VMs on Azure and Active Directory on-premise. You have to understand, it used to take weeks before any application would go to production. After setting up my initial concept using Azure Pipelines, I had my first taste with CI/CD and was thirsty for more.

Bridging the Gap with DevOps

DevOps is all about blending ideas, methods, and tools to make software deployment smoother. But here’s the challenge: at the time, they’re still stuck on keeping development and operations apart. Azure DevOps lays it out simple: plan, code, build, test, and release/deploy. Planning means sorting out product backlogs and sprint schedules. Coding is where the magic happens, including testing. Building turns code into usable stuff. Testing, whether it’s automated or manual, needs to sync up with Azure Boards. And when it’s time to release and deploy, you’re showing off changes to users by turning code into usable stuff and putting it out there. I always thought that different departments we nothing more than a construct of companies made to avoid shared responsibility. For me, DevOps bridges this gap and goes beyond the day-to-day goals of different IT-departments within a company, aimed at creating value for the entire chain.

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