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The Evolution of DevOps: Placing Security at the Center

Gary Final

By Gary T., Director of DevSecOps 

As new technologies spring up, and organizations shift to Cloud Infrastructure, many DevOps automation tools have become open-sourced. Now is an exciting time to be in the technology sector!

I remember first being introduced to DevOps methodologies about eight years ago, and it blew my mind to learn about the innovative ways of developing software. Many companies began to code faster using Agile Methodologies and deliver products to customers at a rapid pace that hadn't been possible before.   

Of course, new emerging cybersecurity threats made security a top priority in releasing software. This led me to shift focus to DevSecOps, where Development, Security, and Operations are seamlessly integrated into the software development life cycle.

So, where are we with DevSecOps, and why are these methodologies necessary? 

DevSecOps is a software development approach that integrates security practices within the traditional DevOps process. The methodology emphasizes the collaboration between software developers and IT operations, which allows teams to accelerate the software development lifecycle, improve efficiency, and deliver high-quality software products.

Security is integrated from the beginning rather than bolted on as an afterthought. The goal is to create a culture where security becomes everyone's responsibility, not just the security team's concern. This approach helps identify and address security vulnerabilities as early as possible in the development process, reducing the risk of security breaches and minimizing their impact on businesses.  

Two people on top of a mountain with clouds in the back
Gary and his wife

In high-performing software organizations, security must be placed at the core of the DevOps process. One of the reasons I joined ADP was that I shared similar values with leaders who put the same emphasis on security within the DevOps process. The culture, innovation, and resources make ADP an attractive workplace where engineers can learn, grow, and stay at the forefront of technology. 

Outside of my day job, I contribute as a mentor through the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), where I encourage young technologists, especially women, to join exciting careers in tech. Many engineers are curious, looking for career advice, tech trends, and areas to upskill. One common interest young engineers have is the DevOps and Cloud area.

I usually explain that DevOps and Cloud go together like a peanut butter and jam sandwich! You can eat them separately, but combined, they unlock potential that takes the flavors to a new level. Cloud computing provides a convenient and scalable solution for hosting applications and services, which complements the speed and efficiency provided by the DevOps process. So, DevOps and Cloud combined can get your product to market faster.

By using cloud services, organizations can reduce their technology footprint, maintain their existing data centers, and rent additional resources as needed, resulting in cost savings and increased operational efficiency.  

A woman, a man, and three children in christmas outfits in front of a christmas tree
Gary and his family

If you are a junior professional reading this, I encourage you to attend conferences, webinars, meetups and stay up to date with the latest trends in DevOps/Cloud. I would love to hire someone who might have less experience but with a deep passion over someone who might know a lot and lacks the desire to learn.

For anyone looking to transition into DevSecOps, I recommend building a solid foundation in development, operations, and security. DevSecOps is still an evolving area. The need for skilled professionals will continue to rise over the next decade as more organizations recognize the importance of integrating security into their development processes.

Gary was awarded the "Inspiring DevOps Leader Award" by the DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA) for his work in the DevOps and Cloud field. DASA is the world's largest DevOps and Agile methodology association focused on advancing the software development industry through collaboration, networking, and celebrating successes. 

Watch OSPE's #WeAreEngineering video featuring Gary, showcasing how engineers accelerate digital transformation and resilience across the province.

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