A non-technical founder can run a successful IT or software development company without much programming knowledge or in-depth IT expertise. However, a founder still needs to understand the important jargon and details so that they can keep track of what their more technical employees are building.
In this article, I will help non-technical entrepreneurs by detailing what DevOps at a startup entails and how the different elements of DevOps combine in a software-based business product. Additionally, I will cover other tech knowledge that non-technical founders need to understand to run their business more efficiently.
Overview of DevOps at a Startup
DevOps is the convergence of development processes with operations. The advantage is that there’s no need for separate teams to communicate back and forth if a product requires changes. In a DevOps team, members with different strengths and skillsets collaborate to build a product.
DevOps also facilitates automation, as many tasks in a startup require repetition. These jobs include data collection, approvals, updates, and more. The DevOps team can use computer algorithms to automate redundant processes to eliminate human mistakes and enable the IT team to focus on more important work. DevOps needs are different for each company, and every firm needs to figure out what they require.
Advantages of DevOps for a Startup
Startups can gain the following benefits from DevOps:
- Fewer unexpected problems – Proper DevOps implementation can reduce problems and improve workflow.
- Better understanding – You can better comprehend the processes and tasks required to create the software product.
- Consumer knowledge – DevOps can help you gain information about the needs of your customers so that you can produce relevant solutions for them.
- Improved customer satisfaction – By meeting user expectations, you can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Enhanced team agility – Your development and operations teams can function in an agile manner using the newest and most effective methodologies.
- Better communication – DevOps can improve communication and collaboration between several teams.
- Happier employees – Your staff can work efficiently to improve productivity and gain recognition for their performance.
- Automation – You can automate routine and repetitive tasks to save time and effort.
How the Different Components of DevOps Tie Together in a Software-Based Business Product
DevOps has three main elements, which are people, technology, and process. People involve employees with the right soft skills and hard skills for efficient DevOps implementation. Technology allows you to automate everything so your team can function in a hands-off manner. Process is the use of relevant and effective methods for your business and employees.
There's no need to build all your applications manually, or to repeat simple tasks every time. Automate routine tasks in the marketing, customer support, financial, and administrative departments to ensure consistency in all processes. Development, production, and staging require a consistent system in which all stakeholders can work efficiently.
Developers understand the needs of operations teams and provide them assistance. They can enable rapid and continuous deployments to facilitate speedy rollout of features and fixes. Operations and IT developers can focus on collaborating effectively using physical environments and tools such as Heroku, Slack, Docker, Jenkins, Nagios, and others.
You can also develop and use your internal apps intelligently. The DevOps emphasis on tooling can help to maintain code quality and create a better software product while reducing the time and effort required to fix bugs later.
DevOps enables the identification and correction of glitches before the release of your software product or mobile app. This will almost always lead to higher user satisfaction scores. Continuous delivery can help your developers release customer-facing apps more rapidly.
Other Tech Knowledge that Non-Technical Founders Should Understand
Though you don't need coding knowledge to run a technology startup, you still need to be aware of basic, non-DevOps tech jargon and language to understand what's going on. Here’s a more general list of IT and software terminology every non-technical founder should know:
The cloud is a set of multiple servers linked to the web that are used to store information and data. Cloud computing offers the ability to access and use data on any internet-ready device, anytime or anywhere.
You can use a database to store all your app's information. A SQL database functions as a sequence of columns and rows, much like Excel files. Each database table is like a single Excel sheet. On the other hand, a NoSQL database like MongoDB can be compared to a Word file. This database type is more challenging to manage.
Servers are linked to the web and serve data or files. Whenever you visit a website, you request files from an internet server. Cloud applications like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud have made it easier and cheaper to set up servers remotely. Previously, IT professionals had to physically set up and install servers in data centers.
API is an abbreviation for Application Programming Interface. APIs facilitate communication between the front-end and back-end codebase. You need to structure and create your API by following consistent standards so that your developers know what they can expect.
Each app has a frontend and backend. The backend accepts user entries, stores them, and gets data from the database. The frontend is the interface with which the end user interacts. Frontend development involves design techniques, while backend development is focused on performance, algorithms, and data.
UI and UX Design
UI is short for user interface. UI design dictates how your app looks. Thus, the focus is on animations, colors, style, typography, and other elements. UI design helps to make your software product look engaging and beautiful.
UX is short for user experience. UX design concentrates on the ease of use of a product or app. It helps answer questions like does the app lay out information in a sensible manner? Does it expectedly react to user input? Does it help or hinder them in solving their problem? UX design also involves automatic emails, customer support, copywriting, and more.
A web application is hosted on the internet and not downloadable on your computer or mobile device.
A native mobile app is created in the device’s native coding language. For iOS, this is Swift or Objective-C. For Android, it is Java or Kotlin. This specialization helps native apps perform better. Each native system has common elements and different paradigms. Developers should look to customize their app to the platform it is run on, to produce a cohesive user experience.
A hybrid mobile app is created using web tools and is later compiled into two apps. There is a single code base for hybrid apps, which is an advantage because it makes it easier and faster to develop and maintain them. However, hybrid development can occasionally compromise quality and performance.
Open Source Code
A big advantage of software development is knowledge sharing. Many developers share the source code of the new product or app that they develop. This accelerates learning and strengthens the whole industry, which is why Crowdbotics leverages open source technology in its app builder platform. If your company is hawking a technical product, you can use open-source code for recruiting or marketing.
Writing code can be compared to preparing a cake recipe. The computer will follow each instruction provided by you. But a single mistake can mess things up. Coding languages delineate the rules about how you create your recipe. Similar to spoken languages, each programming language has its syntax. Further, each coding language is built around a different philosophy and offers different benefits. Some apps or devices only support specific programming languages.
Most coding languages have the same fundamentals, though the syntax may be different. Competent developers are well-versed in a few languages and can easily learn new ones. This means you should recruit for overall ability and not a specific language.
How Crowdbotics Builds Software for Non-Tech Centered Companies
Crowdbotics offers web development, mobile development, and DevOps services to create custom apps and support your business's software needs. Crowdbotics has a huge network of PMs and developers with broad industry expertise.
Crowdbotics also has experts in security and server maintenance, and leverages both traditional and cloud technologies. We combine these specializations with our broader business expertise to make the right DevOps recommendations for clients.
Crowdbotics’ IT professionals can assist you in effortlessly translating your business strategies into IT programs that swiftly and measurably boost your company’s profit margins and performance.
Clients build with Crowdbotics in order to get to market fast and gain an edge over their competitors. We function as a one-stop IT services shop for clients in a wide range of industries and emphasize complete customer satisfaction by delivering products and services that cater to clients' needs.
If you're interested in building a custom DevOps solution, get in touch with one of our experts today.