Top 40 DevOps Terms You Should Know

The software design philosophy, also known as “DevOps,” brings with it not only an innovative new way of creating applications but also a whole raft of new terms. Since one of the best ways to understand a culture better is to learn its language, we present forty terms that anyone curious about DevOps should know.

Preparing for a career in DevOps? Then take up the DevOps Certification Training Course and become a DevOps Practitioner. Enroll now!

A

Agent

An Agent is a program residing on particular physical servers to execute multiple processes on that very server.

Agile Software Development

A philosophy and methodology for software development, with an emphasis on user feedback, the quality of software, and the capability of fast response to new product requirements and other changes.

Application Release Automation (ARA)

The deployment of software releases to a number of different environments and their configurations, but with minimal human involvement.

B

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)

An Agile software development methodology that encourages collaboration and teamwork between software developers, Quality Assurance, and business participants in any given software project.

Build Agent

An agent used in continuous integration that can be installed locally or remotely, depending on the server. The agent sends and receives messages relating to the creation of software builds.

C

Canary Release

Referencing how canaries were brought into coal mines to test the air, this is a go-live strategy where a new application version gets released to a small batch of production servers, then monitored closely to determine if it runs as it’s supposed to. If the version proves to be stable, it’s rolled out to all of the production environment.

Capacity Test

This test determines the user capacity that a computer, server, or application can support right before failing.

Commit

A means of recording changes to a repository, then adding a log message outlining the selfsame changes.

Configuration Drift

When uncommitted hotfixes and manual changes are applied to software and hardware configurations, the latter becomes inconsistent with the master version. This is often a common reason for technical debt.

Configuration Management

An engineering process for creating consistent system settings, including physical attributes, performance, and function, as well as keeping them that way. This is meant to keep a system aligned with its initial design, requirements, and operational information.

Containerization

An operating system (OS) level method of virtualization employed for the deployment and running of distributed applications without having to launch an entire virtual machine for every application.

Containers

A software package is a standardized unit which includes everything needed to run the software, including code and dependencies. Containers enable an application to run in a fast and reliable manner when it’s moved from one computing environment to another.

Continuous Delivery

An approach to software engineering in which integration, automated testing, and automated deployment capabilities continuously allow new software to be repeatedly developed and deployed swiftly and with a high degree of reliability, but with little human intervention.

Continuous Deployment

A development practice for software releases in which every code commit that passes through automated testing is sent to the production environment, which results in a large number of daily production deployments. It accomplishes the same tasks as Continuous Delivery does, but the former is fully automated, completely removing the human element.

Continuous Integration

A software development practice where developers merge all of their working copies of code into a shared repository often, ideally several times a day. 

Continuous Quality

A systemic process that involves finding and fixing any software glitches and bugs during every part of the software development cycle. It is considered a part of both the continuous integration and continuous delivery processes.

Continuous Testing

The process of running automated tests as part of the software delivery pipeline across all environments to obtain immediate feedback on the code build quality.

D

Dark Launch

A development strategy in which a new version of the code, one that implements new features, is released to your team or a subset of the organization’s users, but is either not visibly activated or is only partially so. This process is similar to a Canary Release.

Deployment

The bringing together of all the processes necessary to that make hardware or a software program available for use, which includes all installations, configuring, testing, and moving that program to its home environment.

Deployment Pipeline

An automated multi-step process that takes software from version control to making it available to an organization’s users.

DevOps

A fusion of the words “development” and “operations,” describing a design philosophy where development and operations teams collaborate on software development and deployment. The goal of this new process is to increase software production agility while achieving business goals.

DevOps View Course

DevSecOps

The process of bringing security into DevOps methodology and giving it a significant role.

E

Event-Driven Architecture

A software architecture pattern where the system both produces messages or events, and is built to react to, consume, and detect other events.

Exploratory Testing

A testing process where human testers are given free rein to test areas that may potentially have issues that automated testing couldn’t detect.

F

Fail Fast

A design strategy characterized by a rapid turnaround, where an attempt fails, is reported on time, feedback is quickly returned, the changes are made, and a new attempt is made.

G

Gemba 

This term means "the real place" in Japanese, and in the context of the business world, it often means “where value is created.”

I

Issue Tracking

A process where programmers and quality assurance experts can track the flow of both defects and new features, starting at identification and concluding with resolution.

L

Lead Time

In the world of manufacturing, this is the time involved in moving a work in progress (WIP) to a finished state. In the world of DevOps, the context changes to moving code changes to production.

M

Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)

A calculation of the average amount of system downtime resulting from failures, it measures the reliability of a given system or components.

Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR)

The average amount of time needed for a system or component to recovering from failure and be returned to production status.

Microservices

A pattern of architectural design wherein complex applications are composed of a suite of smaller modular services or component that communicate with each other using language-agnostic APIs. 

P

Production

The last stage in the software deployment pipeline, where the target audience will finally use the application.

R

Regression Testing

The testing of a software application to confirm that any recent changes made to an application haven’t adversely affected any features that were already in place.

Release Orchestration

Using tools such as XL Release to manage software releases, taking them from the development stage to the actual software release. This includes the definition, automation, security, monitoring, and control of the manual and automated tasks

Rollback

Returning a database or program to a previous state, either manually or automatically.

S

Source Control

Also called revision control or version control, this is a process for storing, tracking, and managing changes to code, documents, websites, and other pieces of information. This is usually achieved by generating branches off of the software’s stable master version, then merging the stable feature branches back into the latter.

Staging Environment

An almost exact replica of a production environment for the purposes of software testing. It’s used to test the newest software iteration before it goes live, using an environment that mimics live production as close as possible.

T

Technical debt

The extra development work that results when an easily implemented code is used in the short run, rather than the application of the best overall solution. In other words, the cost of a short-cut.

Test Automation

Using specialized software (apart from the software being tested) for the purpose of controlling the execution of tests and comparing actual outcomes against predicted outcomes.

Do you have enough knowledge of the modern DevOps tools to begin a career in DevOps? Take up this free DevOps Practice Test and find out today!

U

Unit Testing

A testing strategy which involves isolating the smallest unit of testable code is separated apart from the rest of the software and running tests on it to see if it functions as it’s supposed to.

Want to Know More About DevOps?

Now that you can speak the language, have you considered a career in DevOps? Or perhaps you’re already working in development, but want to upskill?

Whatever the reason or motivation, Simplilearn can help you master DevOps. The DevOps Certification Training course prepares you for a career in this fast-growing field that bridges the gap between software developers and operations. You’ll become an expert in the principles of continuous development and deployment, automation of configuration management, inter-team collaboration and IT service agility, using modern DevOps tools such as Git, Docker, Jenkins, Cucumber, Ansible, TeamCity, and Nagios.

Whether you choose to use self-paced learning, Online Classroom Flexi-Pass, or a corporate training solution, you will have access to 56 hours of in-depth blended learning, two dozen live demos of the most popular DevOps tools, real industry projects with integrated labs, and of course 24/7 support with dedicated project mentoring sessions.

You can earn your certification as a DevOps practitioner, opening you up to earning an average of $140,000 annually as a DevOps Engineer. But why stop there? Simplilearn also offers a DevOps Architect Master’s Program as well!

Check into Simplilearn today, and boost your skillset or make that long-awaited career change!

About the Author

John TerraJohn Terra

John Terra lives in Nashua, New Hampshire and has been writing freelance since 1986. Besides his volume of work in the gaming industry, he has written articles for Inc.Magazine and Computer Shopper, as well as software reviews for ZDNet. More recently, he has done extensive work as a professional blogger. His hobbies include running, gaming, and consuming craft beers. His refrigerator is Wi-Fi compliant.

View More
  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.