Behind this frequently mentioned title lies a common question: what sets Agile and DevOps apart? In this article, I aim to clarify the distinctions between these two terms.
Origins of Agile
Agile emerged in 1991 as a response to the evolving organizational needs of companies grappling with intensifying competition. The changing landscape necessitated novel strategies for survival.
For insights into the origins of agility, refer to:
Agility represents a new mindset that companies must embrace. The following image captures the facets that define an agile mindset:
The Birth of the Agile Manifesto
The Agile Manifesto materialized through a meeting of 17 IT project management experts. This collaborative effort yielded four core values and twelve guiding principles.
For more on the Agile Manifesto:
It’s important to note that methodologies and frameworks such as Scrum and Extreme Programming are considered agile methods (or frameworks). However, some of these frameworks predate the creation of the Agile Manifesto by 6 to 7 years. The Agile Manifesto evolved from the experiences gained through these frameworks.
So, What Is Agile?
Agile represents a movement aimed at reshaping organizational paradigms within companies. The popularization of frameworks like Scrum has further propelled this movement.
Additionally, the agile philosophy continues to evolve with different approaches:
- Lean Startup and Design Thinking for product and customer aspects
- Software Craftsmanship for technical excellence
- Serious Games for learning
While not exclusively born from agility, these approaches have been brought to the forefront due to the rise of agility. For instance, Design Thinking, even though conceived in the 1970s, has gained immense popularity through agile practices.
Enter DevOps in This Context
DevOps emerged as a response to the deficiencies, particularly in terms of agility, observed in some companies. Patrick Debois, while serving as a consultant for the Belgian government’s data migration project, recognized the communication gaps and lack of coherence between developers and system administrators.
DevOps sought to address this issue by bridging the gap between these two roles. It is an approach that brings together developers, system administrators, and business owners.
While DevOps is now commonly seen as a technical approach, that wasn’t its original intent. However, numerous tools have emerged to facilitate these collaborations.
Agile vs. DevOps: What’s the Difference?
In essence, DevOps can be considered an agile approach, with a strong emphasis on fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders (development, operations, and business). Innovative tools have been developed to facilitate this collaboration.
Companies aspiring to adopt agile practices also often lean towards DevOps or software craftsmanship approaches. While these two approaches are complementary, they can sometimes be conflated.
Understanding the nuances of these terms can greatly enhance your approach to modern software development practices.