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DevOps and Agile: Similarities, Differences, and Collaboration

Development and operations, commonly known as DevOps, is a method of communication and relationship between IT operations teams and software developers. As many IT pros know, DevOps is often hailed as bringing ‘culture’ to a workplace, as well as attracting a skilled team. Both DevOps and Agile engineers must be well versed in scripting and coding, technologies relating to open source, and a strong set of automation tools skills. DevOps, in coordination with continuous delivery, enables Agile development, which is heavily focused on interactions and communication between departments and interpersonal development. 

So while both terms are often thrown around in forward-thinking IT conversations, it is important to fully understand the similarities and differences between the two in order to leverage their advantages.

How are they different?

-    Speed to Production
Agile development pertains largely to the way development is thought of; any division of a company can be an “agile” department through proper training and emphasis, utilizing short sprints to complete a project. DevOps focuses on deploying software in the most reliable and safest route, which isn’t necessarily always the fastest, the main focus of Agile. 

-    Team Skill Sets
Agile development puts a large emphasis on training all team members to have a wide variety of similar and equal skills. When something goes awry, any member of the agile team can lend assistance rather than waiting for a team lead or specialist. DevOps, on the other hand, likes to divide and conquer, spreading the skill set between the development and operation teams while maintaining consistent communication. 

-    To Sprint or Not to Sprint
DevOps and Agile operate on very different time tables. Agile development manages on “sprints”, meaning the time table is much shorter (generally under a month) and multiple features are to be produced and released within that time period. DevOps strives for concrete deadlines and benchmarks with major releases, rather than smaller and more frequent ones. 

How are they similar?

The continuous development goals of Agile development extend into the continuous integration and release with DevOps. Agile brings a product from users to development, while DevOps brings a product from development to operations, or release. With help from Agile, DevOps is able to produce faster delivery and expedited results. Now, let’s discuss the similarities between the two. 

-    Adoption of Lean Philosophies 
Agile and DevOps both encompass a large amount of Lean philosophies, especially in the areas of communication and communication, and both Agile/DevOps abide by these philosophies

-    IT Productivity
While DevOps may seem like the slower approach to deploying products, it has the same goal in mind as Agile development: productivity and reliability. With Agile pushing DevOps to work faster, and DevOps pressing Agile to be thorough, the end result is a successful and well thought-out product.

-    Frequent Collaboration
Though DevOps and Agile vary in their skill set approach, both groups have a large emphasis on communication and collaboration within groups and within the company as a whole. Frequent updates and benchmark assessments are a necessity within the two development teams. 

So while DevOps and Agile have some key differences, their collaboration and agreement is necessary in order to achieve success. 


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jbelkin's picture
by Julia Belkin,
Marketing Intern
Organized and motivated individual that thrives on new challenges and experiences. Self-starter with a passion for completing projects at maximum efficiency. Quick to learn new skills and technologies.

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