There are two primary software development methodologies these days: Agile and DevOps. Research from Gartner has found that 70% of IT teams use DevOps. Has DevOps totally usurped its predecessor, then? Or can developers use both methodologies for rapid time to market and problem-free deployment? It helps to first examine the primary difference between the two.
The goal of Agile is to make sure the dev team and its processes have the agility to make quick changes. Whereas DevOps prizes end-to-end business solutions, enabling collaboration between the development and operations teams to increase the speed of work in both stages. Both approaches speed up the deployment pipeline but in different ways. So, this brings up the question: which is better?
How DevOps and Agile Differ
DevOps collaborates with development and operations teams, and the dev team is the main user of Agile. But there are many other differences between the two approaches. Let’s take a look at a few:
Agile: The purpose is to manage complex projects.
DevOps: The purpose is to manage end-to-end processes.
Agile: Automation is not the primary goal.
DevOps: Automation is a primary goal.
Agile: Focuses on constant changes.
DevOps: Focuses on consistent testing and delivery.
Agile: Gives up security for speed.
DevOps: Emphasizes both speed and security.
Agile: Measured in sprints.
DevOps: Needs deadlines and benchmarks for major releases daily – and sometimes every few hours.
In a nutshell, Agile methodology can quickly adapt so changes can be made throughout the life of the product. DevOps and help from automation tools create better-quality products by removing bugs earlier in the pipeline and following coding best practices. Both DevOps and Agile have their strengths and weaknesses, but DevOps clearly has a few advantages over Agile.
In DevOps’ Favor
What does DevOps offer over Agile? The main focus of DevOps is the readiness of the organization and its operations. For instance, DevOps culture is all about collaboration between departments and breaking down silos to work together to accomplish a unified goal. The benefit here is that collaboration enables faster deployments and improved product quality.
Agile, by contrast, homes in on the readiness of the product, both functional and non-functional. While this enables quick product changes, Agile doesn’t offer end-to-end business solutions like DevOps. Because employees work in silos, any cross-team communication is constrained. This causes inefficiencies throughout the pipeline as multiple teams working on the same project have little insight into the different stages of the pipeline.
The bottom line, then, is that DevOps makes a greater impact on the pipeline than Agile. It does so by aligning development and operations teams, driving faster deployment and continuous delivery, automating redundant tasks to create more room for innovation, and providing significant improvement in product quality.
Organizations are using DevOps in conjunction with cloud services, containers, and microservices for maximum agility and flexibility. This combination enables DevOps teams to safely move faster without putting the data at risk or sacrificing quality.
There are data services platforms available today that eliminate the need for time-consuming manual input, helping IT professionals increase the speed of deployment releases while improving collaboration among cross-functional teams. Container-native platforms, built on microservices, enable developers to quickly move any volume of data, eliminating the vast majority of wasted wait time.
So, now is the time to answer the central question: Does DevOps mean the end of Agile? The short answer is no, not really. Think about it this way: DevOps exists because of Agile. Basically, Agile walked so DevOps can run. When Agile was first developed, it was a revolutionary method for developers. However, as time went on, new challenges like the lack of communication between development and operations teams required a new method. Thus, DevOps was created as a descendant of Agile, not necessarily a replacement.
In addition, this is not an either/or proposition. Using both methodologies will only speed up delivery of and increase the quality of deployments. Agile enables developers to make rapid product changes to meet customer demands, bridging the gap between the customer and the development team. DevOps eliminates the gap between developers and operations professionals. By using both DevOps and Agile, organizations can meet their customers’ needs at a faster and more secure rate.
Full Speed Ahead
Not only does DevOps not totally replace Agile, but it makes Agile better. What’s the next step, then? If your IT team hasn’t adopted one or both of these methodologies, now is the time. Then, determine whether you want to use DevOps alone or paired with Agile. Think about which frameworks will support your team, speed up the deployment pipeline, and create new efficiencies. These decisions will help you go to market faster than before, thus gaining the advantage over competitors.