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Agile and DevOps both are commonly used technologies today, but neither are they completely neither the same nor they are completely different. Earlier when software development came into existence, there was no fixed and definite approach to do it in the proper way. So, the waterfall approach came into existence that introduced a plan-driven step by step methodology that is followed by the software development and the sequential design process.
With the changes in technology, the customer needs have also changed, and for that, the waterfall method was not sufficient to handle those heavyweight processes. Then the Agile and the DevOps methodologies came into existence. Here, in this article, we are going to discuss these methodologies to handle the process of software development along with the differences between both the methods. The comparison will be discussed based on different parameters as shown in the image below –
In the later sections, we will discuss all these factors in detail one by one….
Agile is a methodology that is applied to the process of software development. In this process, a team and end-user collaboration are formed to streamline the development process. Due to which, the end user can oversee the development or progress of software development throughout its development cycle.
The main idea behind Agile methodology was the incremental approach towards development process management. In this approach, the whole process is broken down into small modules and developers work in a parallel manner to manage the modules. They will take continuous feedback from the customers and guarantee a smooth workflow. Through this flexible methodology, developers are allowed to respond client’s need throughout the development cycle.
When software developers identified the real drawbacks of heavyweight processes that were present in the waterfall approach, they were in search of a methodology that could make the development process agile and easier, and the platform that can provide end user the facility to provide feedback, so that they can be assured that they are on the right track.
In the 1990s, many lightweight principles and theories were developed, including popular Scrum and Kanban methods. In 2001, Agile codified several lightweight theories under one umbrella and provided the following values to the users:
After this methodology, DevOps came into existence that was created to provide the collaboration between development and operation team. Finished product terminology of Waterfall model was destroyed by Agile, instead of as per this methodology software development is an iterative and incremental process. With every new release, new functions can be added to the existing releases and software can perform new functions to improve the existing one.
In Agile methodology, the software development process is broken down into small pieces that are known as “user stories”. In this way, Agile valued the customers, and the developers become able to get the customer feedback by ensuring product alignment as per market need. Moreover, Agile offered adaptive planning, evolving development, continuous delivery, and improvement, Because of these benefits, developers may respond with complete flexibility and in a rapid manner to the changing client’s needs or software requirements or to any external factor.
Agile methodology has some drawbacks like tracking of missed deadlines or absence of budget management and others, to overcome these drawbacks DevOps came into existence that was more flexible and was much better than Agile. Being a lifesaver for software developers to cope up with the rapidly changing customer requirement, Agile still has some shortcomings.
Commonly found drawbacks or shortcomings of the Agile model were incompatible developed software components, un-traceable deadlines, and others. Moreover, it was not able to provide the coordination between development and operation team. That was the point where DevOps provided a platform to the developers, through this the gap between DevOps and operation team.
DevOps team provided a coordinated platform for operation and development teams, through which they improved the deployment frequency and generated the better result. It gave a faster and continuous delivery model by reducing the complexities. We can say that Agile was a response of Waterfall model, but DevOps was not the response of Agile or Waterfall model.
It became essential for every business in the 21st century, so the two important areas emerged during that time were IT Operations and Development Operations. IT Ops was responsible to ensure reliability, security, and compliance. DevOps was responsible to develop and deploy the product perfectly to the end users. IT Ops ensured safety and security for all business needs, but DevOps created a line between rigorous testing and flexibility along with communication through which the software is usually deployed.
From the last decade, companies are usually adding an Agile approach to their software development process and companies have begun spinning off a specific DevOps team from existing IT teams. From here, the Agile teams rely only on test automation, automated build and continuous delivery and continuous integration. DevOps team of the organization uses the tools including configuration management, monitoring schemes, cloud computing, virtualization and monitoring schemes.
Agile was just like a whole new world to those software developers that were frustrated by the shortcomings of the waterfall model, but still, it was not perfect. Commonly seen shortcomings of the technology were missed deadlines, development of incompatible software components due to separate scrums and teams and the cooperation could not be established between development and operation team through the software.
DevOps theory was rooted to fill the communication gap between IT and Development teams along with other departments of the company. DevOps communicates with IT Ops team to ensure stable and secure testing environment. Moreover, at the time of deployment, they have to coordinate with marketing and customer teams as well.
Some organizations thought that DevOps is an extension of Agile technology. Agile may require cross-functional teams that may include designer, tester, and developers, but DevOps team added operation person as well who can ease the deployment process. DevOps can improve communication transparency and automate the deployment process. DevOps has brought much improvement in the development and deployment process.
Following points highlights the considerable differences between Agile and DevOps methodologies:
DevOps is not like Agile and works beyond the software development teams. Both Agile and DevOps methodologies are developed for faster productions and immediate delivery, but they perform it in a different way. Where Agile usually breaks big modules into smaller one to achieve the goal so, DevOps combines tools and cultural practices to provide faster delivery.
The agile methodology works on an incremental development approach with continuous iteration and collaborate development team and end user. On the other hand, DevOps provides collaboration of development and operation teams and emphasizes on service to accelerate the delivery process.
Agile teams are usually smaller in size so that they can provide faster delivery with minimum complexities. DevOps, on the other hand, believes that bigger is better, so here many teams work together as a single team on different theories.
Variety of formal and informal meetings held in the Agile model as it believes in constant feedback and regular meetings of the team member to make the teams more productive and efficient. DevOps can follow modern documentation approach to communicate with all team members and to conduct various meetings.
DevOps maximize the efficiency and minimize the interrupts for software deployment. On the other hand, Agile never favor automation approach and is adopted by the development team. Maximum productivity and reliability can be ensured by DevOps.
While these theories are different but can also be used simultaneously. In short, we can say that they differ in the following points mainly:
In this way, we can conclude that though they are quite the same but still may differ a lot in various ways. These points and characteristics are listed just to point out the main difference between both the technologies and we can use any of them for making the complete process of software development and deployment efficient.
At last, we can say that DevOps and Agile are not similar but two different methodologies. They can be applied and adopted by the development and deployment team members easily. In separate cases, it is good to apply separate policies. The two methodologies have become important for the business organizations and they are using it as per their requirements. Here, it is totally up to business and organization required to use the appropriate methodology.
However, in some organizations, both of these methodologies are being used and they are making the complete development and deployment process faster and efficient by using these. The two methods are quite different but the purpose or goal to use the two is to make the deployment and development process faster and efficient. These two processes are quite faster and can make the software development easier.
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