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App Development
7 minutes read

DevOps vs Agile: A Symbiotic Relationship

By Jose Gomez
A developer working on his laptop.
By Jose Gomez
App Development
7 minutes read

The DevOps vs Agile debate is one that many companies fail to understand correctly when undergoing a software development project to build their app. Unfortunately, failing to understand these concepts has important implications as they can make or break the app development process. As you can imagine, this is something you want to avoid. 

Understanding the differences between both concepts can be of great help for project managers as well as software development and operations teams. In practice, it is common to find that teams are more familiar with Agile methodologies, but not so when it comes to DevOps. The good thing is that there is a great opportunity for teams to improve their work when both are implemented.

Just like there are various approaches to Agile, there are different ways to work using the DevOps philosophy. However, it is crucial to understand what each of these seeks to achieve and how they contribute to software development. Agile focuses on helping projects grow under a continuous iteration approach, contributing incremental improvements throughout the software development process. On the other hand, DevOps focuses on things like continuous integration, the practice of automating project integrations so that they happen often. DevOps also helps detect potential problems as soon as possible, making it a great contributor to continuous delivery.

Agile development and DevOps are crucial for any company looking to develop successful digital products. In this post, we explain what Agile and DevOps focus on, as well as their most important differences. Ideally, you want your development and operations teams to use both of them to improve efficiencies, reduce errors, engage your users, and avoid business risks.

DevOps vs Agile: The Origins

Agile and DevOps are crucial for any development and operations team. Although both focus on different aspects of software development, they contribute in important and crucial ways when building world-class digital products that users love. In the end, they both help build working software that translates into powerful apps.

DevOps was a natural evolution of Agile and other related methodologies. Developers as well as system and network administrators realized that they needed to stop operating in silos. They came to the conclusion that cooperation, knowledge sharing, and cross domain skill sets were necessary to further their crafts. They could not sufficiently increase velocity without changing the way infrastructure was managed. 

Both align to the same set of objectives, identifying and responding to issues as early in the development lifecycle as possible. These include shortened feedback loops, increasing repeatability, maintainability, and velocity, as well as reducing risk with the ultimate goal of early and continuous delivery of functioning software.

DevOps vs Agile: A Common Mistake

A common mistake is to think of Agile and DevOps as being mutually exclusive. Any great development process will most likely use both, as they can help address different issues often found throughout software development. 

When Agile and DevOps are combined, your team will be able to build working software and deploy it while reducing potential mistakes. At the same time, your team will be able to iterate your digital product so that it is constantly improved.

Let’s take a look at Agile and DevOps and see how each contributes to successful apps.

The Agile Methodology Explained

Agile development refers to the use of an Agile methodology to build software. Although there are different Agile approaches, all of them focus on breaking the software product into smaller pieces so that developers can work on them simultaneously and then put them together into a fully functional product. 

Contrary to the traditional Waterfall software development method, Agile software development helps development and operations teams easily iterate different versions of your product in an organized way that helps reduce potential bugs in the code and other development risks. This is very useful for young and mature products, as it allows teams to improve specific aspects rather than the entire application. Because of this, Agile software development is often referred to as an incremental approach to building apps.

There isn’t a right approach when it comes to the Agile methodology. Nonetheless, there are some Agile rules to keep in mind. Scrum and Kanban are among the most popular Agile frameworks, and it is common to find that app development teams are familiar with them. 

Depending on the product type or team members, some alternatives might be better suited for your project. At Koombea, for example, we have our own custom development methodology, which has been tested hundreds of times with our clients.

One of the key aspects of Agile teams is keeping a flexible work culture that allows them to adapt easily to change and, most importantly, to clients’ expectations. This last is crucial as it helps keep goals within a realistic scope and aligned with the project’s desired outcomes.

When working with the Agile methodology in software development, it is important to focus on specific use cases, as this helps concentrate efforts and limited resources on specific objectives. By addressing clear use cases, your team can easily fix issues or build desired features with a specific user in mind.

DevOps Explained

Short for Development and Operations, DevOps is a software development method that focuses on aspects like communication, collaboration, and integration of IT teams so that products can deploy faster. Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as a way of bringing together people, processes, and technologies.

In other words, DevOps focuses on ensuring that the right culture is in place so that different teams, such as development and IT operations, coordinate their actions effectively. This helps code deploy faster into production, using the advantages of automation to achieve efficiencies. 

Automation is a key aspect of DevOps. Companies can gain important efficiencies throughout software development activities by using specialized DevOps tools and process automation.

A company that follows a DevOps culture will increase the speed of some of its processes while simultaneously delivering its users top-quality apps. This is particularly important for companies that leverage technology to offer services. After all, the User Experience is a key aspect of any successful digital product.

Some of the resulting aspects of a DevOps culture include best practices like continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, continuous integration refers to the practice of automating project integrations so that they happen often. On the other hand, continuous delivery seeks to deploy code in short automated cycles so that software becomes ready faster and more reliably. Lastly, continuous deployment refers to the release of software changes to customers. Thanks to DevOps best practices, this entire process comprising the three concepts is done in an automated way, helping reduce the number of potential errors.

Use Agile and DevOps Together

By using Agile and DevOps together, your development and operations team will be better prepared to help you build the product your users need. Each has its own strengths, which can strongly contribute to sound software development best practices.

One of the most difficult aspects of implementing Agile and DevOps is to change the mentality of teams. The proper functioning of these two requires a fundamental culture change. Although this is not easy, the good thing is that, when done correctly, your company will deliver top-quality working software.

If your company does not have an Agile and DevOps culture in place, you can always contact a professional app development company. If they are professional enough, they will surely have implemented Agile and DevOps already, and they can surely help you make the most of them so your team doesn’t have to solve the old DevOps vs Agile debate.

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