By Devin Blewitt, CIO at ITonlinelearning
In the realms of software development, there are two processes that reign above them all — DevOps and Agile. While you may think that these two approaches are in direct competition, the truth of the matter is that they can be combined to create an almighty force. Better understanding these and how they can complement one another can help to streamline the software development process and offer continuous delivery of products.
Software development teams are charged with the continuous deployment of projects. While Agile focuses on the practical side of delivery, DevOps practices support the rollout to the end-user. There are key differences between these two sets of practices. However, the most talented teams are using each software development process in their new software releases. That can allow for the continuous improvement of existing working software. In this guide, we will take a look at how the two can be integrated.
What is DevOps?
First things first, let’s take a look at how the DevOps tools support software development teams. If you are new to the DevOps culture, you may be unfamiliar with how it provides the framework that companies need to ensure a smooth software development life cycle.
DevOps typically is all about shrinking the development life cycle and working as efficiently as possible — each member of the team works on their own specialism and then at the end, everything is put together like one big jigsaw. This really suits projects that are quite set in stone and have a clear end product in mind when the process begins.
The workflow sees software development (Dev) and operations (Ops) working seamlessly together. The development methodologies aim to help the two teams communicate and collaborate quickly and clearly. IT operations teams often use this approach to ensure that they can offer the highest level of automation while also staying up to date with the team.
Since both development and operations have a distinct process that they follow, making sure that the two collaborate can be a hurdle. However, using the countless DevOps tools, managers have the opportunity to revamp the approach that each of them has here.
What is Agile?
Around 2001, the Agile manifesto was introduced to help large-scale teams easily structure their workflow. Agile focuses on a wide range of departments, allowing various teams of different skill-sets to work closely toward an end goal. This approach rests firmly on the individual’s responsibility as part of the larger team. For example, it emphasises the importance of self-organisation and leadership when it comes to fulfilling your role.
Agile is ideal for projects that involve people and expertise from across a company -— think of it as a train that people can hop on and hop off as needed. As the name suggests, this model offers the most flexibility and has the potential to really drive creativity in projects that might not be realised in a stricter framework.
The Agile principles can be applied to almost any department. However, these have been proven to be highly useful when it comes to software development. Since the Agile approach is people-centric, rather than merely dealing with tools or systems, it can result in the highest quality of work out of people. Managers may choose to use it to help enhance the adaptability of their department or improve the overall teamwork practices.
Often compared to the likes of SCRUM, Agile can allow a team to offer frequent releases in their quality software. By entirely streamlining the software development process and making each employee accountable for the role that they play, it is a huge game-changer.
Agile vs. DevOps: It’s not a competition
When it comes to software development, there are lots of different ways you can approach things, and there’s a lot of debate as to whether DevOps or Agile is the best approach.
One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to Agile and DevOps is that the two are competing. Nothing could be further from the truth. These two approaches can be complementary when used correctly within a development and operations team.
In simple terms, DevOps and Agile offer two helpful approaches. DevOps allows managers to bring two large teams together to collaborate and enhances the software development life cycle. On the other hand, the Agile manifesto allows smaller teams to work towards a shared goal without any obstacles. The two are opposing forces.
However, people may be surprised to hear that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. In fact, sometimes it’s better to use both of them in combination. They both rely on using a wide range of different tools, so combining or layering the way in which you use said tools can allow you to unlock the potential of both software development practices.
As a software development manager, you don’t have to pick between Agile and DevOps. The two approaches may be used in synchronisation with one another. Adopting both of these may help you to achieve a smoother process in your overall software development.