Companies strive to achieve the best possible products in the least amount of time. This competition has led to the creation of various methodologies and practices. In this article, we'll focus on the two main strategies used in the development field. These are DevOps and Agile Methodologies. We'll begin by looking into DevOps and what makes it essential. After that, we'll unfold its roles and tools. Then, we'll look at Agile and its key concepts and benefits. Last but not least, we'll see their similarities and differences. Let's dive in!
DevOps (Development and Operations) is a set of practices developed in 2008. Its creators are Patrick Debois and Andrew Clay. These practices aim to connect Software Development and IT operations as a concept. With it, companies can deliver superior products with fewer roadblocks. Also, the concepts of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery are key within DevOps. CI/CD means teams are constantly building, testing, and updating changes and updates. As a result, it ensures a high-quality final product.
You now have a general idea of DevOps, but why should a team apply these practices? Why makes DevOps important? In the past, Development and Operations teams used to work in separate lanes. In consequence, this process led to blind spots in implementation. If code gets kicked back and forth, there's usually no clear responsible party or course of action. Also, this can contribute to various issues and delays. Yet, when both teams work together, results are not only superior.
With collaboration throughout a whole life cycle, there are also fewer roadblocks. Nowadays, new software launches faster and faster. As a result, smooth and efficient processes are crucial to success. Further, DevOps has many other benefits. These include accelerated innovation, improved collaboration, reliability, security, and scalability.
The concept behind DevOps is quite simple. It combines development and operations in a single team. As a result, this methodology encourages team members to work on cross-functional skills. If you are looking for a simple explanation of the DevOps process, let's see the four main stages it entails:
DevOps teams describe and define the future-developed product's features. Inhere, they organize and schedule tasks.
During this phase, team members write, test, review, and integrate code.
Once the software gets developed, it gets deployed into production environments.
Here, there's monitoring, maintaining, and troubleshooting within production environments.
You could divide this process into eight steps for a more detailed explanation. These make up the four components of Continuous Integration.
Beyond its meaning, there are some questions worth addressing about DevOps.
DevSecOps entails integrating security testing and protection into a DevOps model. The traditional security model focuses on checking and correcting security defects before release. Yet, DevSecOps does this in every step of the development process. This switch leads to faster delivery combined with building secure code.
A DevOps engineer focuses on finding and implementing processes, methodologies, and tools. These apply to all needs that arise during the software development life cycle. For instance, it covers coding, deployment, maintenance, and updates. DevOps engineers work on unifying and combining development and operations tasks. Besides their technical knowledge, they usually specialize in leadership and team collaboration.
Tools were not an original part of the DevOps model, but many have risen over the last few years. These platforms implement these practices in more effective ways. Here are some of the best DevOps tools for each aspect of the process.
Configuration: Puppet, Ansible, Chef.
Computing: AWS, Azure, Google Cloud.
Testing: Sentry, Selenium, Gremlin.
Collaboration: Slack, GitHub.
Monitoring: Splunk, Nagios, Raygun.
Containerization: Docker, Kubernetes.
Release Tools: Jenkins, Bamboo.
Agile is a Project Management and Software Development approach. It's often used for cross-functional teams and focused on iterative development. As a result, Agile teams deliver work in small increments. For example, they work in sprints or iterations, including development and testing. This style might ring a bell from DevOps, which focuses on improvements and delivery. This method involves close collaborations. These are often between developers and stakeholders. Also, it offers regular deliveries, frequent inspections, self-organization, and great adaptability to change. Techs and trends are constantly shifting and evolving. That's why adaptability is essential in the development industry. Also, it's part of why Agile gains constant popularity.
If Agile comes new to you, some key concepts can be helpful to understand.
The Agile Manifesto identifies the values and principles of this methodology. It declares the four value focuses they highlighted through working with this approach. In all these focuses, they present a hierarchy of priorities to handle an Agile approach.
Furthermore, the Manifesto, written by seventeen professionals back in 2001, follows twelve principles. Among these, they highlight concepts like simplicity and sustainability. Also, it proposes that sponsors, developers, and users maintain a constant pace. As prior mentioned, another keynote is adaptability to changes, even late in development. Besides, it states that the delivery should occur with a particular frequency. This frequency can go from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Yet, it relies upon continuous delivery. Lastly, the Agile Manifesto takes the working software as its results measurement. You can also check the Manifesto's twelve principles!
Scrum is an Agile product development framework—i.e., a specific set of practices. Its focus lies on delivering value in the least amount of time. Additionally, work gets organized in sprints, which tend to last around two weeks. Each sprint has specific goals to reach within the specified amount of time. Scrum is ideal for cross-functional teams. Also, it works best on projects divided into clearly-defined increments. If you want to learn more about Scrum, you can do so inhere.
In Scrum, a Sprint Backlog includes all the items the team collected to apply in future projects. Since we're at it, the Product Backlog includes everything the team needs to work on to finish the product.
Kanban is another Agile framework that uses a visual system to organize work. Teams put the items on a kanban board resembling a to-do list. The classic kanban board includes the columns "to do," "doing," and "done." It's ideal for teams working on highly-unpredictable projects. That's because it makes it easy to adapt and change priorities. Although Scrum and Kanban have quite a few differences, there are also hybrid models.
The advantages of Agile are plentiful. Yet, there are some main reasons why companies choose it. These include increasing performance, improving satisfaction, and increasing adaptability. And, as we've seen, adaptability is essential in the dev industry. Also, Agile makes it easier for teams to tackle changes during processes. As a result, this ensures that final products meet specific needs. Other benefits include faster time-to-market, predictable costs, higher-quality products, and project transparency.
As you might have noticed, Agile and DevOps are pretty similar. They both aim to get high-quality products as fast as possible. But what sets them apart? Let's go over some of their differences.
Agile and DevOps can also work together like their different hybrid models. Teams mix the best of both to deliver faster products while having user needs at the forefront. Yet, given cultural shifts, their implementation should be well thought out. These methods apply mainly to larger companies.
DevOps and Agile are two excellent models. Both are available for devs to work more efficiently and achieve better results. Moreover, your choice will rely on composition and requirements. In some cases, combining the two might be the correct answer. We hope we've given you a comprehensive DevOps and Agile Methodology overview. Also, we expect to encourage you to look into these development strategies further!