April 14, 2021 - 8:12 am

DevOps Explained & How it is Used by One Traverse City Tech Team

By 20Fathoms

As technology evolves, so too must the practices and culture of information technology teams. The rise in popularity of DevOps is one example of this continuous change.  DevOps is the integration of two traditionally siloed teams: software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops).

“DevOps is a good practice for any company that builds a software product, especially cloud-based and software-as-a-service (SaaS) products,” said Derek Smith, Cofounder of Naveego and VP of Data & Microservice Integrations at Aunalytics.

Derek Smith, Cofounder of Naveego and VP of Data & Microservice Integrations at Aunalytics

A Traverse City-based startup, Naveego offers a cloud-based data integration platform that helps companies compile data from multiple sources and produce clean data for accurate reporting purposes. In February 2021, Naveego was acquired by Aunalytics, a leading data platform company, where Derek now leads to the data integration and DevOps teams.

“DevOps has always been fully integrated into our process at Naveego,” said Derek. “It helps us rapidly deploy updates because developers can better understand, develop, and deploy against network architecture.”

Derek further described what DevOps looks like in practice at Naveego and now Aunalytics: “Our developers use tech like Kubernetes and Docker to create a consistent environment across development, testing, and production.  Developers are able to interact with real backend services like SQL and MongoDb directly on their laptops.  Once the code has been developed it is automatically built and deployed to the testing environment where Quality Assurance testers make sure it is ready for production.  Finally, once tested, the code is automatically deployed to production. This is a much more efficient process compared to the traditional model which requires two separate teams: the network team and the development team. In that situation, development is done on a separate server where QA and deployment must be managed by a network team in coordination with the developers. It’s more people and more communication which can slow the process and increase errors.”

Preparing for a Career in DevOps

For those interested in working in a DevOps role, Derek recommends developing a strong understanding of both software development and networking technology, as well as server management.

“Learning the networking side is very important for those with a development background,” said Derek. “Developers should learn TCP/IP networking protocols, how routing works, and how networks work because DevOps programmers do a lot of network configuration management and scripting, in addition to development.”

Derek also recommends learning Kubernetes and Docker. “These platforms are becoming the standard. If you learn how to operate with Kubernetes and Docker containers, you’re putting yourself in a good spot to find work because it’s a high-demand skill.”

New DevOps Opportunities with Aunalytics in Traverse City

Derek expects the Naveego acquisition by Aunalytics to lead to more tech jobs in Traverse City. Currently, the company has 10 employees in Traverse City.

“Aunalytics is based in Indiana but the software developers for the data integration team will largely be located in Traverse City,” Derek said. “We are hiring now and have plans to continue to grow this team and add more senior full-stack software engineers, software engineers, and quality assurance engineers.”

He continued, “This work is a lot of fun because we’re working with the latest and greatest technology. With Aunalytics, we’re now part of a company providing a full platform of insights-as-a-service using AI and machine learning. Our clients are healthcare, insurance, and financial companies that want to be data driven. We help them get their data program up and running faster.”

Derek Smith is a tccodes instructor at 20Fathoms where he teaches software development courses on micro-service architecture, Agile, React/Redux, TypeScript, Docker and Kubernetes, and .NET Core.