Agile Is Not the Same as DevOps | TechWell

Agile Is Not the Same as DevOps

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Agile and DevOps are two terms that are often confused with each other and sometimes used interchangeably. But they are not the same idea. While both improve software performance, these concepts are actually quite different in definition, origin, and principles.


Agile is a software development approach or methodology in whichsoftware is developed by making continuous, incremental changes and improvements iteratively.

DevOps is a set of practices that combine software development with operations, with the objective of shortening the development and release to market time.

The outcomes of agile and DevOps are similar in that software features, fixes, and updates are delivered frequently and efficiently. Both also involve testing and automation.

However, agile puts emphasis on collaboration between end-users of software and the developers, while DevOps puts emphasis on collaboration between the deployment or operations team and software developers.


Agile software development approaches have been used since as early as the 1970s, with their use becoming more common in the 1990s and culminating in the Agile Manifesto in 2001.

DevOps originated from agile methods, which is why the two complement each other. A need for DevOps was felt as lack of collaboration between the development team and the operations team was found to sometimes delay software release to market. DevOps was formalized with the first DevOps Day in 2009. 


Some of the DevOps practices, such as automated build and test, continuous integration, and continuous delivery, originated from agile. But while agile and DevOps principles have some commonalities, they are more different than similar.

Agile development is adaptive in approach and responds to users' requirements rather than following a fixed plan. In an agile approach, end-users collaborate with developers. The Agile Manifesto emphasizes that individuals and their interactions be given more importance than processes and tools, with the objective of developing functional software.

While DevOps principles have not been formalized with a manifesto, they are well defined and emphasize the following objectives:

  • Faster time to market for new software
  • Reduced failure rate of new software
  • Shorter lead time between fixes
  • Shorter mean time to recovery

In Practice

Several practices have emerged that follow the agile principles, some of which are agile modeling, agile testing, continuous integration, refactoring, test-driven development, pair programming, and using backlogs. Some of the notable agile software development frameworks are lean software and Scrum.

The microservices architecture is commonly used to implement DevOps. Some of the implementations of DevOps are continuous integration, continuous delivery, containerization, and automated application deployment.

Agile and DevOps are different methodologies with different end objectives. Agile helps develop better software. DevOps is driven by the business objective of making new and updated software available faster. By using both methods together, you can improve software performance.

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