ChatOps – Conversations, Put To Work


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In a relationship, communication is the most important thing.

Communication is cited as the most important aspect in any relationship and in the success of any initiatives. Success of IT projects depends on the robust communication process. With emergence of social media, chats have become a well-accepted means of communication when it comes to approaching an IT help desk, resolving tickets, and so on.

In the context of the increased use of DevOps, communication becomes even more important as DevOps covers the entire life cycle from software development to IT operations. In this chapter, we will discuss ChatOps, that has emerged as one of the most efficient tools in effectively implementing DevOps.

In past the few years, DevOps has evolved at a very fast pace and the whole IT industry is confidently banking on it as it provides a unique combination of people, process, tools, and automation. Continuous integration, continuous deployment, and continuous testing have become the new mantras.

Recently, ChatOps has emerged as one of the most effective techniques to implement DevOps. It accelerates the DevOps culture, which provides better collaboration among people and automation through bots, which finally results in greater efficiencies.

ChatOps – How does it work?

ChatOps is Putting tools in the middle of the conversation – GitHub 2010

The basic structure of ChatOps and mapping of testing steps is provided in the following screenshot:

In the DevOps environment, teams use chat clients such as HipChatSlak, or Flowdock for their regular communication. This is integrated with bots such as HubotLita, or Err. A chat client manages a group of people who are responsible to address issues and incidents. A user can give commands to bots via a chat window to perform basic tasks such as server reset, ticket creation, and deploying the code. Bots in the background are connected with an API of any incident management or the Application Life cycle Management (ALM) tool from where they fetch the required information. When an issue is generated, everyone who is a part of the chat knows it. This helps to identify the correct person to resolve the issue. ChatOps as a concept can be applied to various types of services such as application management services, and testing services.

Benefits of ChatOps

The concept of ChatOps provides several benefits:

  • Everybody is aligned on an issue: It is difficult to manage a large volume of e-mails and track it until they are resolved.
  • Improved time to resolution: Agility of cross-functional teams improves through communication and deployment of bots for automated tasks, resulting in a lower resolution time.
  • Offers virtual organizations without the need for changing organization structures: Through ChatOps, we can virtually combine skilled people from various fields into a team regardless of their location.
  • Automation: One of the most important achievement is the integration of bots. They are our helpers who perform tasks as directed via programmed commands. This dramatically decreases time spent on an issue because functions such as content search, code deployment, and server reset can be easily assigned to bots.

Examples

Conclusion

Customers want time-to-market and issue resolution times to be as low as possible. ChatOps is a means for vendors to accelerate their projects and provide better efficiencies to customers.

Resources

https://www.packtpub.com/application-development/testing-practitioner-handbook

🤖 A collection of awesome things about ChatOps – managing operations through a chat

https://github.com/exAspArk/awesome-chatops

12+ Frameworks to Build ChatOps Bots

https://github.com/exAspArk/awesome-chatops

Thank You

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