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What is DevOps in Agile?

by Mario Lucero

Seeing that Agile seems to be most strongly associated with DevOps, but not all of the interested and involved get the meaning of it right, Mario Lucero had been right feeling the need to clarify what it actually is and isn't.

What is DevOps in Agile

Definitions:

The Ops in DevOps comes from a group of activities previously known as operations or system administration, whereas the Dev clearly refers to the development done for and with - around operations. A fitting definition, as given by Jez Humble, calls DevOps:
"a cross-disciplinary community of practice dedicated to the study of building, evolving and operating rapidly-changing resilient systems at scale".

This does underline the fact, that the two are somewhat joined and co-related. Mario goes further and makes it more "joining" and clear still:
"DevOps is the practice of operations and development engineers participating together in the entire service life-cycle, from design through the development process to production support".

What is this for?

The general idea of including Operations in the process is to make the feedback loop as broad as possible, thereby facilitating each stage of the process to have a chance to contribute in the process. This helps to avoid possible problems at all stages, hence reduce waste and cut costs - which is always good, especially if you want to call the process an Agile one.

An overall requirement for DevOps comes from the experience of leaving projects to be planned by Development, which more often than not, creates a lack of preparation for the deployment and support of the complete work. A classic reason for business people to consider IT teams as unreliable partners.

Benefits and risks:

Implementing a valid and working communication between Dev and Ops is meant to and has been observed to reduce the risk of giving in when it comes to support and disaster recovery. Working together makes sense and does make the workflow Agile, for as long as they keep a similar pace. Otherwise, the goal of Agile - marketing products often and well - may not reach its full potential, if one hand of the DevOps cannot follow the other.


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