Is Agile versus DevOps a Real Debate or a Misconception? | TechWell

Is Agile versus DevOps a Real Debate or a Misconception?

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Competition or friction doesn’t always have to stem from diametrically opposed ideas—often, two very similar groups find themselves arguing without realizing just how similar they really are. In the world of software, one such case is the concept of agile versus DevOps.

Some organizations are seeing all the buzz surrounding DevOps, not quite reaping the benefits from agile that they had hoped, and putting all their eggs in this new basket. However, if you ask Jeff Payne, the CEO and founder of Coveros, you don’t often have DevOps without incorporating some aspects of agile.

“DevOps is a cultural shift; it's a philosophy about getting everybody collaborating, communicating together, and figuring out how to make our process better,” Payne explained. “End-to-end in software. It’s applying the agile principles of collaboration and communication and getting everybody to work together as a team, just extending that out to operations and getting everybody in the lifecycle from requirements all the way through the sunset of your apps together working on making it efficient.”

See the similarities? To many people, DevOps is just expanding the scope of agile—bringing development and operations together and focusing in on that collaborative and iterative core that allows agile to be successful. So to try to separate the two or create some competition to figure out which is more effective is missing the point.

“You can do some things that are considered DevOps without doing agile, but it's really hard to do agile well without DevOps, and it's really hard to do DevOps well without agile,” Payne continued. “They're very related.”

So where’s the disconnect? As of now, even if DevOps is a hot topic, plenty of people define it in different ways. Ask one vendor, you’ll get a definition that makes it sound like an expansion of agile. Ask another, and it’ll make the two concepts appear completely incompatible.

“Everybody's still talking about DevOps. What does it mean? What is it? How do testers play into it? How do we get started in it? How do we get everybody together? Is it the same thing as agile? Is it different than agile?” Payne explained. “Everybody is talking about that, trying to figure it out. Of course, every vendor is selling DevOps, whatever that means.”

What that means is that there’s a strong interest in DevOps, but you can’t view it as some solution to your agile woes. DevOps and agile share principles, values, and techniques, and while you might have a different definition of DevOps than Payne or other experts out there, it’s difficult—and fruitless—to distance one from the other.

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