Agile and DevOps are both common practices used for modern software development. The agile methodology started to gain a lot of traction back in the early 2000s. At first, it completely transformed the way that teams worked on software and other products and was widely embraced as the new industry standard.
It hasn’t lost favor with software development teams, but some companies started to notice a separation happening between developers and the processes and requirements of the operations team.
Developers write the software while operations teams deploy and manage software products. The DevOps methodology arose out of the need to align development and operations teams. So does it serve as a replacement for agile? Or do the two-act in tandem?
There are many similarities and many differences between the two, and it’s not always clear whether they work together or if it's up to every company to choose one approach. Let’s take a closer look at DevOps vs Agile to find out which approach leads to the greatest efficiency and more reliable results.
DevOps is a software development practice focused on delivering value by tightening the connection between people, processes, and technology.
The goal is to help bridge the gap between software developers and operations, instead of having development teams write applications to hand off to a completely separate operations team who deploy and manage them without having any sense of how they were developed.
In DevOps, developers, and operations teams work together throughout development, deployment, and ongoing management.
In many situations, DevOps calls for the collaboration of development, IT operations, quality engineering, and security teams. This helps create more efficiency across the entire workflow involved in launching a new product, release, or update.
The DevOps approach values stability and consistency and prioritizes the importance of improving and streamlining processes along the way. It helps companies to increase efficiency, take advantage of programmable processes, and implement more automation.
Unlike agile, which is a methodology just for development teams, DevOps is cross-disciplinary. It involves development, operations, and quality assurance, seamlessly connecting all areas of software production.
The result is continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment, without any gaps.
Agile is an iterative approach to software development based on the Agile Manifesto. It is centered around collaboration, customer feedback, and making product releases timely and efficient.
It came about in the early 2000s and helped development teams to face changing market conditions and the needs of their customers.
The fundamentals of agile are based on the effort to create a functional prototype of build in the midst of constantly changing needs and requirements. It relates to lean manufacturing and involves close collaboration between stakeholders and developers.
The work happens in small batches, with constant course correction along the way. One of the main benefits of agile is that if customers aren’t happy with a software product, changes can be implemented in real-time.
Knowing that customer needs can shift at any moment, agile helps companies remain adaptable and keep pace with customer needs and expectations.
It was a welcome upgrade to the waterfall methodology because it allows for continuous changes to be made throughout the development process, leading to a faster product release.
The agile process is specific to developers and how quickly and efficiently they can complete a project. With every new iteration, the software product is handed off to different teams for delivery, deployment, and ongoing maintenance.
Adopting agile and DevOps practices in software development are confusing for many companies. The first step to lessening the confusion is to understand the differences between the two methodologies and the role they each play.
Agile and DevOps are not mutually exclusive software development methodologies. In fact, there are many benefits to merging agile and DevOps. Both offer a structure and framework that can work together to speed up software delivery.
Agile is strong on methods to organize work, like Scrum or Kanban, and DevOps helps build a more consistent and reliable process of delivering software more quickly.
DevOps is almost like a missing piece of agile. It works to take the philosophy and values of the Agile approach and extend them to the operations process.
Without DevOps, Agile can’t be employed in the most complete way and without Agile, DevOps can’t be fully realized either. For instance, the Agile Manifesto references DevOps principles, such as continuous integration and delivery.
Ultimately, Agile and DevOps have the same goal: to release better software more quickly. The two practices are now so widely accepted that it is rare to find software production companies that use one without the other.
Still, some teams have trouble seeing the benefits of one or the other or have not had success fusing the two.
Recommended reading; Why Agility Fails.
When done right, your company can choose one practice, or combine Agile and DevOps to bolster your software development and delivery processes. At Adservio, we can help you figure out a customized approach to your software development that leads to better products.
Ready to learn more? Reach out to our team of experts to learn more about how we can help you find workflows and practices that optimize your development process.