Agile is one of the methodologies for iterative and step-by-step software development. It is based on a democratic approach to the organization and management of teamwork, whose members are focused on the development of specific software. The agile software development methodology is a manifesto that defines the way of thinking and contains the basic principles on which several approaches to software development are based, which imply interactive development, dynamic provision (updating) of requirements from the customer and their implementation through self-organizing working groups formed of experts in various fields. DevOps complements Agile particularly well, as it extends and complements the processes of continuous integration and product release. The goal of DevOps is to close the cooperation gap between developers and operation specialists. The result is a new group of DevOps specialists (engineers) who take the best of both sides and combine them for the benefit of the customer.
Between them, some essential points of similarities and differences are:
DevOps vs Agile – Similarities
- Planning – One of the Agile is to provide working software with smaller and more frequent “releases”. Agile aims to have a potentially finished product at the end of each stage; it is called a sprint (usually every two weeks). DevOps implies maximum flexibility; product updates are deployed on a combat server up to several dozens or hundreds of times a day. Then user reactions are tracked and analyzed, new development tasks are prepared, and the process of endless improvement goes in a circle.
- Methodology and deployment – Traditional development and operation teams usually work separately, and their relationships are limited until the software is released. The goal of DevOps is not so much to increase the speed of release of new functionality, but to deploy this functionality in production, without chaos and disruption of an already running application, and to quickly detect and fix problems if they do occur. High deployment rates allow to experiment quickly and almost continuously. DevOps supports the Agile methodology to maintain deployment deadlines.
- Agile Automation – Frees up human resources to do quality work. By automating the same type of scenarios, testers get more time to perform research testing or can pay more attention to testing potentially weak parts of the system. When using automation, errors can be detected and corrected when launching regression tests. Execution of such tests gives confidence in the correctness of introduced changes. DevOps is about continuous component supply and continuous integration. Without the proper use of test automation principles, it is difficult to ensure that the resulting solutions meet quality and risk requirements.
DevOps vs Agile – Differences
- Cross-functional groups when using DevOps – Each member of the cross-functional group is equally responsible for the delivery process. Any person in the group can change any part of the software system. This is the opposite of isolated groups when Agile development, testing and operations teams have their scripts and processes and are not part of the same team.
- Communication – Scrum is one of several methodologies for flexible software development. An important distinguishing feature of scrum is the daily meetings (scrum meetings), the purpose of which is to give the team complete and reliable information about the stage of the development process. During the meeting, each scrum participant (in the team) informs about what task they have completed, what will be done and what difficulties they have encountered during the work. Unlike Agile methods, DevOps actively involves administrators and support specialists who deal directly with the users of the product and know exactly what they need from the product. The goal of a DevOps implementing manager is to get everyone involved in the project to work as a team towards a global goal increasing the value of the product to the users. The obligatory condition is to develop cross-functionality, making employees more universal.
- Cross-functionality vs fragmentation – An important factor in many Agile development processes is that each team member can do any job. The idea is that a team member does not have to wait for a specialist to be released and take up the next step in the process. On the contrary, every free developer should be able to do what it takes to move the project forward. This approach not only speeds up the development process but also improves understanding and communication within the team.
- Documentation – The basic idea of Agile is cooperation with the customer is more important than contractual obligations. That is why Agile methods strive to reduce the amount of documentation. This allows the customer to pay only for the result that has value for the business. For DevOps, documentation is needed to transfer all the necessary knowledge to automate software deployment.
Very often the terms “Agile” and “DevOps” are used almost synonymously. These concepts pursue the purposes of improvement of work IT at the expense of fast, iterative work