behind this popular title a bit popular, people are regularly asked me the difference between agile and devops (agile vs devops). I will take advantage of this article to clarify the difference between these two terms.
Origins of agile
The agile term was born in 1991 to bring a real reflection on the organization of companies; they had to find a new formula to deal with increasingly fierce competition.
Don’t hesitate to read the article on the origin of agility:
Agility is a new mindset that the company must grab. Here is an image that reflects the different points that could define what is an agile mindset:
And the agile manifesto is born
The agile manifesto is the result of a meeting of 17 experts in IT project management. It was born after this consultation where each participant together found a consensus in the definition of 4 values and 12 principles underlying these values.
This agile manifesto benefited from methodologies and frameworks that were all more or less close to this agile mindset.
If we say vulgarly that scrum or extreme programming are agile methods (we prefer the term framework), they are actually born 6 to 7 years before the creation of the agile manifesto. Indeed, the agile manifesto is born from the experience of these frameworks, some of which are less popular.
So agile is?
So, agile is a movement that wanted to change the organizations of the companies and which extend with the popularization of the framework such as scrum even other approaches.
Moreover, this agile approach continues to evolve on different approaches:
- lean startup and design thinking for the product and customer aspect
- the craftsmanship software for the technical excellence aspect
- the serious game for the learning aspect
These approaches were not necessarily born with agility but the popularization of agility has brought them up to date; for example, design thinking has become very popular, whereas it is an approach born in the 1970s.
And the devops in this story?
Devops is an approach that is born with agility … or lack of agility in some companies.
Without going into detail, Patrick Debois was system administrator as a consultant on a data migration project for the Belgian government. He was totally impacted by the lack of consistency and communication between developers and system administrators.
How to make a rapprochement between these two types of skills to avoid this kind of issue in the future? That’s the question behind the devops.
Indeed, the devops is an approach to gather the developers, the system administrators but also the business owner.
If today, the devops is seen as a technical approach, it was not necessarily the initial objective. However, many tools have appeared in the meantime to greatly facilitate these rapprochements.
Donc agile vs devops?
We can say that the devops is an agile approach, very focused on the rapprochement between different people (dev, ops, biz); many innovative tools have been created to facilitate this rapprochement.
Companies wishing to become agile, also want to use the devops or software craftsmanship approaches. These two approaches are sometimes confused even if they are very complementary.