Changing Software Development Practice: A Case Study of DevOps Adoption

Jones, Stephen John (2020) Changing Software Development Practice: A Case Study of DevOps Adoption. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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DevOps, a portmanteau of development and operations, is a Software Engineering approach to emerge in industry, with a goal to rapidly develop and deploy good quality software. It has seen increased research attention in recent years with most studies focusing exclusively on tools used for DevOps or attempts to universally define it. This has led to a misunderstanding of DevOps alongside differing definitions, and therefore this research argues that a universal definition should not be sought.
A focus group of practitioners evaluated existing definitions with the findings further tested in a questionnaire to the wider DevOps community. The output of this informed a 14 month case study of DevOps adoption in a medium sized UK organisation. A pragmatic approach was taken to study what DevOps meant for the organisation and its impact on employees and other business functions.
This research contributes to theory by identifying the core attributes of DevOps, and by using a job crafting theoretical lens to understand the organisational change required to implement DevOps and elucidating how individuals change their work identity as they adopt DevOps practices and processes. In particular, this research finds that Software Developers are natural Job Crafters, especially if afforded the freedom to do so. This research contributes methodologically by using multiple methods, and in particular a longitudinal qualitative diary study over 14 months with a very low attrition rate. This was achieved through using tools that participants use in their work to record their experiences of DevOps implementation. Finally, this research makes a practical contribution by developing the building blocks of attributes that organisations should consider within their specific context and by developing an interdisciplinary framework that takes account of both the software development process and the associated management implications of adopting and implementing DevOps.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2021 13:13
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2021 13:13

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