DevOps and Agile are both widely-used software development methodologies with the objective of delivering the final product in a fast and efficient manner. There is no doubt that organizations are keen on implementing these practices, but most of the time there is a lack of understanding when it comes to learning the differences between the two types of practices.
The Agile and DevOps methodologies are two separate yet closely related methodologies that are used in the software development process. Agile is focused on the philosophy and principles of how software should be developed and delivered, whereas DevOps centers around the constant deployment of code using advanced tools and automation. They have fundamentally different scopes and focuses, which is what makes them different.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a software development approach that emphasizes communication, integration, and collaboration among IT professionals to accelerate the delivery of products. It is a culture that fosters cooperation between development and operations teams, enabling faster, automated deployment of code. By aligning development and IT operations, DevOps enables organizations to quickly deliver applications and services, thereby increasing their speed of delivery.
Core values of DevOps
The DevOps team conceptualizes, specifies, and outlines the features and capabilities of the product or system being developed. The progress of the project is tracked at a granular level, from individual tasks to multiple products, through the use of agile software development methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban boards.
Based on the plan, the development phase encompasses all aspects of coding, including writing, testing, reviewing, and integration. The team uses automated tools to ensure quality, stability, and productivity while rapidly innovating.
This crucial stage involves deploying applications into production environments. Teams establish clear release management processes with automated gates to ensure scalability, repeatability, and control, enabling smooth and confident delivery.
This phase involves maintaining, monitoring, and troubleshooting applications in production environments. The goal is to achieve zero downtime, ensuring reliability and reinforcing security and governance for a high-quality customer experience. Issues are identified and corrected in a timely manner.
What is SAFe Agile Framework?
Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) continues to be a popular method for scaling, as demonstrated by the 30% of survey participants who use it. SAFe addresses the challenges faced by traditional agile methodologies and delivers better results for large software teams with hundreds or thousands of members. Its principles promote better coordination, consistency, governance, and provide a clear view of priorities and progress.
Core values of Scaled Agile Framework
Ensuring that all teams are in line with the organization's vision and working towards a common goal is a central aspect of SAFe. This is vital for organizations to remain competitive in the face of rapidly changing markets, distributed teams, and other challenges. Alignment is achieved by starting at the portfolio level and flowing down to production and solution management and product owners. Clear commitments are communicated to teams through Product Iteration Objectives and Iteration Goals.
Quality should be integrated into every aspect and step of the development process, not considered as an afterthought. SAFe is structured around flow, architecture and design quality, code quality, system quality, and release quality to achieve this.
Clear processes and open communication foster trust and resilience within organizations. Transparency facilitates troubleshooting and bug fixing. Teams work to meet short-term commitments and make available artifacts, documents, objectives, and progress measurements at all levels within the organization.
This principle, drawn from the agile manifesto, prioritizes working software over comprehensive documentation. Program execution is the outcome of the other three values, with a reliable quality mechanism making it easier to detect and fix errors and bugs, thus ensuring consistent system execution.
The key difference between Agile and DevOps
Agile and DevOps are two distinct methodologies that are often used in software development. Both have their own unique characteristics and ways of working.
Agile is an iterative approach that prioritizes collaboration, customer feedback, and small, rapid releases. Its main focus is on constant changes. On the other hand, DevOps is a practice that combines development and operations teams together to achieve constant testing and delivery.
DevOps requires relatively a large team, whereas Agile approach requires a small team. DevOps leverages both shifts left and right principles, in which Agile leverages the shift-left principle. The main area of focus for Agile is software development, whereas DevOps aims to provide end-to-end business solutions and fast delivery.
Furthermore, DevOps focuses more on operational and business readiness, whereas Agile focuses on functional and non-functional readiness.
The final verdict
Both DevOps and Agile provide frameworks and structures that can accelerate software delivery. Rather than having to choose between the two, organizations can benefit from utilizing both methodologies. Agile offers effective ways to organize work, such as through Scrum or Kanban, while DevOps focuses on a broader culture of quickly and consistently delivering software.
DevOps and Agile should not be viewed as either-or propositions, but as complementary methodologies that should be incorporated into your development environment. For a highly optimized development environment, it is essential to consider key features and benefits of both DevOps and Agile.