4 warning signs that your low-code development needs DevSecOps
Low code platforms have democratized development in the enterprise. They improve efficiency and enable companies to do more with less. But as you begin to do more you will start hitting speed bumps that eventually become roadblocks. If your releases have started to feel a little bumpy, it might be time to consider a DevSecOps tool to help smooth out the process.
Traditional on-premises and pro-code development teams have invested heavily in DevSecOps tooling, but many low-code development teams don’t believe these tools are necessary.
If your low-code team is resistant to DevSecOps tools, here are four early warning signs that you should be considering a tool to help manage your releases.
1) Bugs getting into production. Bugs and compliance violations should never be allowed into production, but the sad truth is that you can never completely prevent it. What you can do is establish a rigorous testing regime. It can even start out as manual testing, but if you use the right tools, manual tests can be easily converted into automated test scripts. Test early and often, and establish regression tests before releasing to production. A good DevSecOps tool will ensure the proper tests and compliance checks are run at just the right time.
2) Unexpected features released into production. This is a sign that approval processes are not being enforced. Unapproved features might include changes to security settings that would open your organization up to hackers. You should ensure that every user story released to production has been properly approved. A well-designed DevSecOps tool will include an orchestration engine and quality gates that prevent the release of features which have not been properly reviewed and approved.
3) Releases take too long. When teams try to manage sprints using only a tool like Jira, it becomes easy to lose track of where stories are in the pipeline. Without an automated DevSecOps tool, the team will have to manually move stories into the correct status column. That might work for a small team with only a few developers, but when you have multiple teams with stories that are dependent on stories delivered by other teams, it can overwhelm even the most efficient scrum master. A well-designed DevSecOps tool will automatically update the progress of user stories through the pipeline and flag dependencies early, so your teams can focus on getting to done in the right order. That way you don’t have work waiting in staging for multiple sprints while the dependent stories finally arrive.
4) Deployments don’t work the first time. Or the second or third time. Unfortunately, with large releases, these errors often happen after waiting for hours for the deployment to complete. Low-code cloud computing systems remove the complexity from the developer, but that usually results in complexity under the covers. Metadata-based systems often have hidden dependencies which require that changes be deployed in exactly the right order. Often the dependencies require that code which has not changed be included in the deployment as well.
Developers and release managers may come to learn all these requirements over time, but this often means they know how to correct a deployment problem after it fails the first few times, not how to prevent it. A good DevSecOps tool will understand these arcane dependencies and flag them before the deployment is ever attempted, ensuring a clean release the first time and every time.
Most companies believe in setting rules and sticking to them, but in practice, we are generally too busy to remember every little detail.
A good DevSecOps automation tool can enforce the rules and ensure that you haven’t opened an unexpected hole in your defenses. Even when you rely on manual review, you must ensure that the pull requests are actually happening and that the right person is doing the review. It can also provide an audit history so you can review the remaining holes in the process and iterate, iterate, iterate. Putting a tool in place will not get you to release perfection, but it will get you close.