Agile and DevOps are better together in 2018

IT industry observers agree: When you add DevOps and Agile, you get more than the sum of the parts. See how experts envision the combination of Agile and DevOps in 2018.

The era Agile and DevOps has arrived.

In 2018, developers, testers and delivery pros will adopt the combined name, Agile DevOps, officially acknowledging that the philosophies are two pieces of the same pie. Those Agile vs. DevOps headlines, which imply that Agile is outdated, while DevOps is a bold new approach, will fade away. The Agile and DevOps mindset will take hold, replacing the either-or thinking that prevailed in 2017. The shift will happen for one good reason: Agile DevOps offers businesses a roadmap to develop, deliver and update software that can stay a step ahead of their customers.

The term Agile DevOps is not in wide use today. DevOps and Agile align and are in opposition to the traditional Waterfall approach. Agile has achieved widespread adoption at this point, while DevOps has become the new must-have methodology.

For my year-end column, I comment on recent blog entries about DevOps, focusing on those that emphasize the way in which it's intertwined with Agile. These bloggers are paving the way to the Agile DevOps future. Here's what some the best them have said.

Agile and DevOps are best friends

A blog entry published by Atlassian defined DevOps as "Agile applied beyond the software team," which nicely captures the relationship between the two. However, as the blog noted, many of the "sound bites" about Agile and DevOps can give the impression that they are different ideas. A key reason these concepts seem dissimilar, the blog explained, is that both concepts are complex and difficult to pin down. An attempt often results in oversimplification. "Many people think Agile means Scrum and DevOps means continuous delivery … so you may be surprised to learn they are best friends."

Atlassian provides Jira Software, among other Agile development tools.

Agile and DevOps make strong allies

When the Agile Manifesto was published in 2001, it was a dramatic response to the drawbacks of Waterfall. The development approaches stood in stark opposition to each other, and they still do. That is not the case with DevOps and Agile, noted IT author Stephen Watts in a blog entry published by BMC. "While Agile was a response to Waterfall methodologies, DevOps was not a response to Agile."

Watts wrote that, while the two theories are not one and the same, "companies started seeing similarities and increased success and productivity when using [Agile and DevOps] in tandem." His definition of DevOps? Taking Agile "one step further by adding an operations person who can ease the transition from software to deployment."

BMC sells DevOps software, security services and multi-cloud management tools, among other offerings.

DevOps makes Agile more flexible

A blog post published by Skillogic suggested that Agile and DevOps enhance production value. The post defined DevOps as bringing "more flexibility in the Agile model." Agile is "flexible enough to adapt to the changing needs of the customer" and to prove that software under development works in a test environment. But it takes too long for that software to reach a production environment, the post explained. DevOps "ensures that the working software sitting in a developer's laptop reaches the production phase easily and quickly."

Skillogic provides training and certification offerings for Agile and DevOps.

Agile DevOps avoids silos

A key promise of Agile is its ability to do away with silos, where separate business groups work in isolation and don't share information. Agile, by definition, disrupts silos. But ironically, "people are creating new silos in the name of Agile and DevOps," according to a blog entry published by Agile Buddha. "This is causing a lot of harm."

DevOps and Agile efforts cannot succeed if they operate separately, the blog entry explained. DevOps widens "Agile's principles to include systems and operations instead of stopping its concerns at code check-in," the blogger wrote. "Creating separate Agile and DevOps horizontals in any organization just defeats the whole purpose of DevOps." Instead of passively accepting the silo approach, adopt the Agile DevOps mindset: It's a broad, overarching for developing, delivering and updating software.

So, there's the for 2018. Agile and DevOps belong together. So, let's just call it what it is: Agile DevOps.

Let me know what you think.

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