The Differences Between Agile and DevOps Practices
The methods used for software development have evolved over time. Of course, this seems obvious because the available technology has continued to grow over the years, but the general approach includes more factors than simply what tools are available.
Agile and DevOps practices have emerged in software development through the refinement of previously used processes.
And while these two practices share the same goal—efficiently creating high quality development projects and releasing them as quickly as possible—there are inherent differences between the two. But the similar goals can create confusion between the two.
Is there any overlap between Agile and DevOps practices? Can you utilize both at the same time? Which one will work best for your needs?
What Is Agile?
Agile is a set of values and principles that can be used to find methods and procedures for software development that work best for your team. These principles are not a set of prescribed tactics that can be used to create new updates or applications. Instead, they focus on ways to align your team’s thinking and interactions to achieve agility.
Agile is an iterative approach that focuses on customer feedback, collaboration, and small, rapid releases.
Flexibility is important throughout the software development pipeline. Adapting to new changes and conditions will help your team maintain levels of productivity as they move through the processes. This is beneficial to both developers as well as project managers through improved communication and collaboration.
There are four core values dictated by the Agile Manifesto:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
These values are used to guide the methodology employed throughout the development pipeline. Scrum and Kanban are popular methodologies that can be utilized in accordance with Agile principles. The important thing to remember is that to remain Agile, your team must always be open to altering and improving tactics and methods.
What Is DevOps?
DevOps is the marriage of your development and operations teams. Prior to DevOps gaining popularity around 2009, the considerations of these two teams were separate. This was realized to be inefficient as they occasionally worked against each other’s interests. Code development and deployment were procedurally combined into a continuous cycle, creating a bridge between these two processes and creating DevOps.
DevOps is the union of people, processes, and products with the goal of creating a streamlined development pipeline.
Salesforce DevOps has become widely used because of its ability to increase confidence in the code deployed into production—higher quality code leads to more satisfied customers. Increased release velocity helps businesses to compete more effectively.
A variety of processes have evolved from the collaboration of development and operations teams. This includes:
- Version Control
- Continuous Integration
- Continuous Delivery
- Continuous Deployment
- Automated Testing
- Increased Code Visibility
These processes and tools include the usage of automation whenever possible to increase speed without sacrificing quality. In fact, many processes see a reduction in errors when automation is utilized, leading to higher quality final products.
Collaboration is a major aspect of DevOps. Open lines of communication between multiple teams may take a bit of planning, but it provides many benefits when operating smoothly.
Similarities Between Agile and DevOps Practices
In a very broad sense, Agile and DevOps practices are both strategies for optimizing your development efforts. They aim to speed up the process to introduce new updates and applications to market to position your business as a leader in the industry.
Collaboration is an integral aspects of Agile and DevOps practices.
The way in which this plays out might be different, but the basic idea in each approach is that you can maximize your efforts through utilizing multiple teams on one project. Communication between these teams is essential to address issues as they arise throughout the development process.
Both Agile and DevOps practices operate through a rubric of connectivity. However, even though these approaches share a similar overarching theme, there are differences between them that set them apart in their effectiveness.
Differences Between Agile and DevOps Practices
The first major difference is scope of focus for both approaches. Agile is concerned with incremental, smaller projects that piece together to become the larger piece. This is often done through what are known as “sprints.”
DevOps takes the whole project, from end-to-end, into consideration at one time. This includes constant testing and development instead of making mid-project pivots—as can be done with Agile.
The deployment schedule itself will vary between these two approaches. Agile’s incremental deployments will introduce a new update piece by piece, while DevOps will deploy the product as a whole.
The team sizes between each approach may vary. DevOps teams can grow quite large—necessitating ample communication—while Agile can be performed with a smaller team.
The end product might seem similar, but the approaches used to reach that stage can vary widely between Agile and DevOps practices.
Where Does DevSecOps Fit In All This?
Popular methods of managing and operating development pipelines continue to evolve. The Waterfall Model gave way to Agile, which then had to contend with DevOps. And while the DevOps method introduced practices that improved release velocity and heightened quality, data security remained a constant concern.
Security methods were an afterthought—only tested and implemented at the end of the development cycle. DevSecOps is aimed at changing that.
DevSecOps introduces data security measures from the very beginning of the Salesforce development pipeline. Code quality checks, data backups, and more increase the overall levels of data security seen within a development project when they are addressed throughout the process.
Utilizing automation and maintaining a focus on data security are quickly becoming industry standards. Agile and DevOps practices are still being utilized, but they are quickly becoming shifted to address evolving needs. DevSecOps includes many of these considerations, and more.