Code and beyond: A peek into Kentico’s DevOps practices
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Code and beyond: A peek into Kentico’s DevOps practices

At Kentico, DevOps isn't just about server setup; it's an ongoing innovation in the coding landscape. This team is a Developer’s Developer, creating tools that enhance the workflow of their colleagues and cater to customer needs. Here’s an insider look at how Kentico’s DevOps Engineers continue to push the boundaries of technology and teamwork.

A code-centric culture

While traditional DevOps might be synonymous with server management and software deployment, Kentico takes it a step further by immersing deeply into code. The team primarily writes custom tasks for Azure DevOps (ADO), ensuring that each project’s specific needs are meticulously met. This approach not only streamlines processes but also empowers Developers to innovate more freely within the build environment.

Team dynamics: specialization within collaboration

Kentico’s DevOps team thrives on individual expertise within a collaborative framework. Each of the five team members brings a specialized skill to the table:

  • Radek dives into TypeScript, enhancing script functionalities.
  • Martin shapes infrastructure using Terraform , crafting sturdy and scalable environments.
  • Michal masters YAML pipelines, becoming the go-to guru for deployment hitches.
  • Adam focused on Docker, ensuring seamless containerization of servers.
  • Petr tackles cloud services, ensuring dynamic responses to the cloud-based needs.

This structure not only allows for personal growth and expertise but also ensures that every challenge met is handled by the best in that particular niche.

Our DevOps Engineers define themselves as a pack of lone wolves with a great sense of humor who grow together, communicate effectively both online and face-to-face, and actually really enjoy each other’s company, both at work and outside work.

It all started with Xperience 13 and transcends to Xperience by Kentico.

With the launch of Xperience 13, Kentico’s DevOps team set a new standard in their operational approach. This project was about breaking free from the shackles of outdated technologies and entering a realm of streamlined automation and enhanced Developer autonomy. By automating releases and optimizing build processes, DevOps Engineers enabled Developers to take charge of immediate builds and tests, significantly speeding up turnaround times and boosting productivity.

Seamless integration with Development teams.

Kentico’s DevOps doesn’t just support Developers; they integrate deeply with them. By directly interacting with the rest of the development, DevOps Engineers remove potential bottlenecks, allowing for smoother operations across teams. This synergy is not about overlapping duties but enhancing each other's capabilities in a way that accelerates outputs without compromising on quality.

The power of automation and innovation

Adopting YAML for their builds has transformed the release process from a manual, error-prone task into an automated, codified procedure. This not only reduces the time for each release but also minimizes risks, allowing developers to implement changes confidently. Additionally, the team has integrated tools like the Renovate bot within ADO to maintain up-to-date dependencies, further automating and securing the development lifecycle.

Embracing challenges: Incident response and operational reliability

At Kentico, the DevOps team extends beyond the traditional roles of process setup and maintenance, playing a crucial role in incident management. They have set up swift response systems and innovative solutions that maintain high availability and enhance customer satisfaction. Let’s delve deeper into how tools like Alert Duty and specialized bots within MS Teams fortify their incident response framework.

The role of Alert Duty.

Alert Duty is a rotating role within the DevOps team, specifically designed to address and manage incidents as they arise. The person assigned to Alert Duty at the given time acts as the first responder to operational disruptions, ensuring that any issues are addressed promptly. This role rotates among team members to ensure that the workload is balanced and that all team members are equally adept at handling urgent situations.

When an alert is triggered—be it from automated monitoring systems or direct developer inputs—the Alert Duty officer assesses the situation, identifies the root cause, and either resolves the issue directly or coordinates with other team members for more complex problems. This rapid response capability prevents minor issues from escalating into major disruptions, thereby maintaining system integrity and operational continuity.

Innovative problem-solving with pipeline bot.

The Pipeline Bot is an integral part of Kentico’s DevOps strategy. It is designed to monitor specific pipelines for failures or anomalies. This bot automatically notifies the respective Developers when they happen to break something— if a build crashes or a deployment fails... It speeds up the process as DevOps doesn’t have to be notified of minor issues that Developers can fix themselves. In other cases, the bot alerts DevOps Engineers,    pinpointing the exact failure within the pipeline. The immediate notification allows for quick remediation, significantly reducing downtime and the associated costs of delays.

Moreover, the Pipeline Bot integrates seamlessly with Jira. The bot automatically adds clicks to branches, commits and pull requests that Developers create within the Jira ticket. This makes it easier for them and their reviewers to navigate. They don't have to search for anything. It streamlines communication between the DevOps team and Developers, facilitating faster resolution and more effective collaboration.

Enhancing preview and testing with preview bot.

The Preview Bot plays an essential role in enhancing the development process by allowing Developers and Product Managers to generate real-time previews of applications from active pull requests. This capability is particularly beneficial for non-technical stakeholders, such as Product Managers, who need to see how changes will affect the live product without diving into the codebase themselves.

By generating a URL for a working application based on the latest commits, the Preview Bot provides a tangible output that can be reviewed for functionality and user experience before finalizing the code. This not only speeds up the feedback loop but also reduces the risk of errors making their way into production, ensuring that new features meet both Developer and consumer expectations right from the first release.

Proactive incident management.

Kentico’s DevOps team has established a robust framework for dealing with potential service interruptions before they affect the end users. This proactive approach ensures a seamless user experience. Through the use of sophisticated monitoring tools, automated alerts, and a responsive incident handling protocol, Kentico maintains an environment where continuous improvement is the norm, and system stability is paramount.

This ensures the reliability of services and fosters a culture of innovation and continuous learning within the team.

Kentico’s DevOps team in short

… is a balanced blend of technical mastery, innovation, and collaborative spirit. It’s a team that values autonomy, encourages problem-solving, and provides a platform for continuous learning and improvement.

If you're a DevOps Engineer who can code, likes to think for themselves, and solves complex issues, Kentico might just be your next move. As we are now growing our DevOps team, you can dive into a role where you can make an impact, not just on the systems you work on but on the products that reach customers globally.

Are you ready to redefine DevOps with us? Check out the open position of the DevOps Engineer.

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