Two software development approaches, Agile and DevOps, share the goal of releasing the finished product as rapidly and effectively as feasible. Even while many businesses are keen to use these techniques, there is frequently some misunderstanding between the two. What is covered by each methodology? Where do they cross over? Should you select one over the other or can they coexist?

As usual, we've drawn on the expertise of sector experts to describe and distinguish the two techniques, list their benefits and drawbacks, and emphasize the most appropriate applications for each.

Difference between Agile and DevOps

The primary distinction between DevOps and Agile is that the former is a development and delivery philosophy, whereas DevOps explains how to continually distribute code using contemporary tools and automated procedures.

Agile Manifesto

Agile software engineers act in accordance with the ideals and tenets stated in the Agile manifesto.

The Agile Manifesto, which was drafted and endorsed by professionals in software development in 2001, outlines the 12 guiding principles and four core values that all Agile practitioners must uphold.

  • Functional software above thorough documentation
  • Persons and interactions, rather than procedures and tools
  • Adapting to change versus sticking to a plan
  • Customer involvement during contract negotiations

While the Agile Manifesto is remarkably condensed, its significance to the software development community cannot be overstated. The entire text is less than 500 words.

The Continuous Delivery of Software to the Client is the Top Priority, according to the Agile Manifesto. Additionally, it offers no clear instructions and makes no suggestions for certain procedures to follow. It is purely an exercise in philosophy.

What does DevOps mean to you?

Unlike Agile, which has a definitional document, DevOps does not. There is no unified definition of DevOps.

Even the exact date when DevOps entered the common language is unclear. Many cite John Allspaw and Paul Hammond's 2009 Velocity conference presentation, 10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation at Flickr. Many people also credit Gene Kim's book The Phoenix Project with accelerating the adoption of DevOps.

InventorsJohn Kern, Martin Fowler at al.John Allspaw and Paul Hammond at Flickr, and The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim
Highest priorityContinuous software deliveryContinuous software deployment
Founding artifactAgile ManifestoThe Phoenix Project with a conference session with 10+ deployments per day
Implementation frameworksScrum, Kanban, ScrumBan, Lean, XPCAMS, CALMS, DORA
AlternativesWaterfallDevelopment and deployment in silos
Team sizeSmall teams of ten or fewer people use it.As a company-wide strategy, it has been implemented.
ScopeDedicated to the creation of a single applicationA company-wide strategy for software deployment

Allspaw and Hammond describe how confidence in their software testing methods fostered a high level of trust between development and operations in their Velocity presentation in 2009. As a result, the organisation built a procedure for automatically deploying code into production more than ten times each day. At the time, automating such a thing was deemed revolutionary.

Many things have changed in the software development business since 2009, however the following principles of DevOps remain:

  • Trust and teamwork between the development and operations teams
  • Comprehensive software testing methods are heavily relied upon.
  • Integration of cutting-edge tools to streamline development and operations chores
  • Automation of production deployment with no human involvement or checkpoints

Culture of Agile and DevOps

While many people disagree about what DevOps is, most definitions incorporate the word "culture." This begs the question, what exactly is culture?

In general, culture refers to any group of like-minded people who use a common set of tools and adhere to a repeatable set of routines.

In essence, culture is comprised of three elements:

people, procedures, and the tools they employ

Processes and tools for DevOps

DevOps practitioners weave together various jobs and popular technologies to complete them, including:

  • Git and GitHub are examples of code repositories and version control systems.
  • Docker and Kubernetes are examples of containerization and orchestration.
  • Jenkins and other tools are used for automated and continuous code development and integration.
  • Kubernetes is used for orchestration.
  • Analysis of static and dynamic code;
  • Chef, Puppet, and Terraform are examples of configuration management and infrastructure as code.
  • AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud offer public cloud platforms and services.

Continuous integration and continuous deployment of code (CI/CD) is the overarching process that comes from all of these processes.

What are the similarities between Agile and DevOps?

The path to a successful digital transformation begins with accepting that Agile and DevOps can coexist, but also interact.

All DevOps professionals believe in the following:

  • The importance of incomplete work and the automation of manual jobs
  • The significance of working with self-organized groups comprised of motivated persons; and
  • The primary focus is the ongoing delivery of software to the client.

Every single one of these arguments can be traced back to one of the 12 Agile Manifesto concepts.

How do you combine Agile with DevOps?

Practitioners of Agile and DevOps share a same philosophy. Furthermore, their objectives are similar.

A DevOps transition's ultimate goal is to fully automate the deployment of working code into production. This is complete DevOps enlightenment.

The Agile manifesto emphasises unequivocally that the continuous delivery of software to the client is the utmost priority.

Both Agile and DevOps believe that getting working software into the hands of clients is the best approach to produce software, assure transparency, and support long-term development.

Agile and DevOps also intend for development and operations teams to employ cutting-edge tools and methods to get product into the hands of customers as quickly as humanly possible.

Differences and similarities between Agile and DevOps

To summarise, the following are the most significant distinctions and similarities between DevOps and Agile:

  1. The Agile Manifesto defines Agile, but there is no commonly acknowledged definition of DevOps.
  2. DevOps refers to a work culture, whereas Agile refers to a software development philosophy.
  3. Continuous delivery is the top priority in Agile, while continuous deployment is the biggest priority in DevOps.
  4. DevOps requires all manual processes to be automated, whereas Agile values "the amount of labour not done."
  5. DevOps practitioners adopt an Agile attitude, whereas Agile participants must be self-organized and driven.

People with Agile mindsets who embrace a DevOps culture all have one goal in common: the continuous delivery and deployment of software to the client.

DevOps-based digital transformations can be successful if all parties adopt an Agile mentality.

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