DevOps and Agile are two methodologies that are often seen as competitive. However, I believe that if you understand the uses of each approach, you'll understand how the two can benefit each other. First, it's important to understand the basics of each.
What is DevOps?
There are many definitions available on the web. My favorite and most descriptive definition, from this website, is the following:
"DevOps is the practice of operations and development engineers participating together in the entire service lifecycle, from design through the development process to production support."
From my perspective, collaboration is one of the most important aspects of DevOps along with the no blame culture. To improve quality and delivery to production, it’s vital that each discipline within the pipeline collaborates. This ensures constant feedback when there are breaks in the process, which helps resolve issues and improve processes.
What is Agile?
Agile is an iterative process that breaks down large projects into smaller tasks that are usually approximately two weeks in length. It can be delivered on a regular basis, which allows for feedback to be considered and tasks to be re-prioritized based on the needs of the business. This regular and constant delivery vastly reduces the risk for large projects, as progress can be seen and commented on and as necessarily changed.
What are the pros and cons of each?
Though many people view DevOps and Agile as separate entities, I don’t see this as a choice between the two; I see the two as complementary to each other. By allowing both to co-exist, the two processes strengthen each other, adding value to development teams and driving quality throughout the entire process.
What's the difference between the two?
A good assessment of the differences is covered in this article. As I've said before though - it's so often assumed that DevOps and Agile are different, when in fact they're more similar than people think. For example, both are oriented to deliver quality to the end user. You can look at it this way: Agile is for the Micro View and DevOps is the Macro View. This means that development teams can take an Agile approach, and then as it is pushed to Operations, DevOps takes over.
What are the best use cases for each one?
Once you begin to view these approaches as working side by side, then you can deploy them to help with any project, small or large. You may just find that together, DevOps and Agile drive quality from inception to delivery.
ConclusionSo know you know hopefully you understand the basics of DevOps and Agile, and understand them more as friends than enemies. If you'd like to continue your reading on DevOps and Agile, here are some post suggestions from our blog:
Kanban vs. Scrum vs. Agile