Agile development used to be front and center in the conversation about software development. Now, DevOps has taken over the conversation. How do agile and DevOps relate? Both ideas began as ways to improve different aspects of software development. Agile embraced the changing nature of requirements and prioritized working software over rigid processes. DevOps collapsed the development and operations silos to improve both development and production operations. Each shares some fundamental ideas, but each target different stakeholders and set different business goals. Given the overlap, people ask is DevOps agile or if we do DevOps do we also need to do agile? Or, is agile even still relevant? Or, what’s the point of either of these things anyway? This post answers those questions and also demonstrates how DevOps is different than agile and that both are still useful, and required for successful software development. (You can also watch our Recipe for DevOps Success webinar and read our post on The Four Tactics for Cultural Change in DevOps Adoption to learn more about what can be achieved in the enterprise with DevOps.)
Context and Background
Agile development traces back to the 1990s with practices like scrum, extreme programming (XP), feature-driven development, and user stories. The agile manifesto was written in 2001 by prominent software developers like Martin Fowler, Kent Beck, Ward Cunningham, and Bob Martin. The primary section of the manifesto reads with bold highlights:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
Agile was a response to constraining software development processes like waterfall. The idea was to be flexible, iterate, work with stakeholders to produce software that met their requirements while also increasing predictability. Generally speaking, agile development is a set of practices for developing software in teams and largely focused on planning and

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