About the Client
A software development division within a Fortune 100 conglomerate that provides applications to automotive dealerships throughout North America. The client has an unparalled reputation for anticipating the needs of the automotive industry and developing innovative solutions that provide a better buying, borrowing, and service experience.
Today’s software developers are under increasing pressure to deliver multi-faceted applications as quickly and efficiently as possible. Where teams once had the luxury of lengthy development timelines and extended periods between software updates, today’s customers expect continuous upgrades to existing features and require frequent security improvements to meet their demanding compliance and cybersecurity requirements.
Unfortunately, software engineering teams within most well-established enterprises still operate along traditional “waterfall”-style development processes that are poorly suited to the dynamic needs of cloud-based applications and data-heavy workloads. Transitioning from existing development models to a more flexible, Agile-based methodology requires substantial investment in finding the right tools and implementing the right processes to support digital transformation initiatives.
When the client set out to accelerate their software development process with an automated DevOps practice featuring Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, they turned to the experts at BRQ for guidance and support. Over the course of the next four years, the BRQ team worked collaboratively with a variety of internal stakeholders to develop robust DevOps practices and CI/CD pipelines that enabled the client to automate key aspects of application development and speed up their delivery lifecycle.
The transition from traditional development methodologies to a DevOps-oriented practice is both a technical and cultural shift. From a technical standpoint, the client needed to implement a variety of software solutions that would enhance visibility into resource utilization and allow managers to prioritize tasks for a variety of simultaneous projects. Given the complexity of their infrastructure, many of these software tools needed to be built from scratch and customized to their specific development needs.
At the same time, new processes needed to be formulated and put in place to promote a cultural shift within the organization. Team members accustomed to working under a different production methodology would also need training and proactive coaching to get the most out of these new systems. To make matters more complicated, the changes had to be implemented without compromising existing development timelines that were only becoming more intensive as the client continued to scale.
The first step involved taking a comprehensive look at the organization’s existing development practices and delivery pipelines, few of which incorporated automation tools or real-time visibility. Based on the initial evaluation, BRQ formulated a transition plan that identified key steps that would mitigate gaps in the development process and lay the groundwork for an effective CI/CD environment that would enhance application development and delivery in the long-term. In addition to being scalable and resilient, the new solution would ensure that development environments would resemble production environments in order to streamline coding and debugging.
BRQ’s engagement began with a few resources,and would eventually expand to incorporate more than three dozen team members. Using state of the art technology, the BRQ team leveraged a combination of onsite resources and nearshore capabilities in Brazil to build out a sophisticated DevOps practice that was both cloud and language agnostic. Since everyone working on the project was based in similar time zones, it proved easy for the teams to communicate in real time and collaborate to build out the software and tech stack to support dynamic CI/CD pipelines.
The BRQ team used a variety of tools to implement a new DevOps practice within the client’s engineering department, including:
- Docker: Improved delivery times, testability, and cohesion of packaged software.
- Terraform: Ensured that provisioned infrastructure was deterministic.
- Ansible: Configured provisioned resources in a reproducible way.
- SonarQube/Coverity: Recognized tools to measure code quality.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS): Made it possible to scale resources according to current demands.
- Cloud Custodian/Tenable: Enabled security proof cloud resources.
- Jenkins/CircleCI/CodeBuild: Facilitated a scalable, continuous integration pipeline.
- Octopus/CodeDeploy/Jenkins: Supported an accessible, continuous development pipeline.
Over the course of the engagement, BRQ engineered the infrastructure, software, and processes necessary to support a robust CI/CD pipeline that allowed the client to transform the way it developed, tested, and managed its software solutions for customers. This new environment eventually made it possible for the client to transition its entire tech stack to the cloud, where it realized even greater efficiency gains and cost reductions.
The new DevOps environment incorporated automation wherever possible to enable streamlined development lifecycles that allowed the client’s developers to develop, test, and deploy new software features rapidly. Thanks to horizontal scaling and geographically distanced resources, the client’s CI/CD pipelines were also able to meet SLA expectations.
BRQ’s commitment to building long-term success with steady, continuous progress proved to be an ideal fit for an enterprise looking to implement a modern DevOps environment. The team working with the client brought extensive experience building similar pipelines to the project, which made it easier for them to map out project goals and serve as effective change capable of accelerating key strategic and technical outcomes. Talk to us today to learn how BRQ can enhance your DevOps practice and build efficient CI/CD pipelines.