The terms agile and DevOps are often used interchangeably, but as Curtis Franklin Jr. recently pointed out, the words are not synonyms. He goes so far as to say that treating them as the same thing can cause interdepartmental problems and the abandonment of secure practices. Here are the three major ways agile differs from DevOps:
- Agile is a methodology and DevOps is a manner of deployment. Agile development is an approach to building software. A team using agile has the sole goal of completing their task. Once they are done, they have no interest in what happens next in the process. DevOps, conversely, approaches releases in the most secure and reliable manner possible. A DevOps team follows software deployment from beginning to end. Employees maintain an awareness in the follow-up of a release and do not depend on agile development.
- Agile is cross-functional while DevOps is isolated. On an agile team, every member can competently perform every task. This allows for all team members to constantly have tasks to perform and for all workers to understand and communicate every detail of the job precisely.
DevOps keeps development and operations unique and separated, and employees cannot simply jump from one task to the next. The teams keep constant communication but are not expected to necessarily be acquainted with every aspect of the others work.
- Agile favors speed and DevOps favors documentation. Agile teams are known for their constant lack of time and their efforts to keep things as speedy as possible. As a result, they prioritize creating software over documenting their efforts. This can be harmful when handing things off to another team and may actually result in less efficient progress.
The D in DevOps might as well stand for documentation because it is such an important element in the DevOps process. Because teams are aware that they will turn over their progress, full records must always be kept. Automation is often used to facilitate the process.
Next time you discuss agile and DevOps, make sure to carry these differences with you.