DevOps or Agile: Which do software developers prefer?

Source –

While Agile is by far the most popular  development methodology, high-performing software development teams are more likely to have a DevOps culture.

That was one of the findings of the Gitlab Global Developer Survey which took place towards the end of 2017. Of the 5 300 software  from around the world who participated in the survey, about 1.5% were from Africa. The majority of respondents were from Europe (46%) and North America (36%).

According to the Gitlab 2018 Global Developer Report, the most popular software development methodology was Agile, used by 60% of respondents. This was followed by DevOps (23%); Waterfall (16%); Conversational Development (12%); Rapid Application Development (9%); and Other (9%).

Interestingly, “chaos” was the top adjective used by respondents who chose “other” to describe their development process.

In GitLab’s comparison of the two most popular methodologies, DevOps and Agile were seen as being complementary. According to Webopedia, the goal of DevOps is to change and improve the relationship between the development and IT operations  units by advocating better communication and collaboration between them.

High and low performers

The report divided respondents into two main categories – high- and low-performers – and compared their use of DevOps and Agile on this basis. High-performers were defined as those who deployed their code on demand, multiple times per day and who estimated that they spent 50% or more of their time on new work. Lower-performers deployed their code “between once per day and once per month” and “between once per month and once every six months”.

The survey revealed that high-performing teams were more likely to have a strong DevOps culture, 45% of high-performers compared to just 21% of lower-performing teams, resulting in better visibility and collaboration than in their lower-functioning counterparts.

Top priority: automation

Nevertheless, while developers and upper management agreed on the value of collaboration and communications, managers were more optimistic than developers about the time savings of practising DevOps, with 81% agreeing that DevOps saves time in the development process. Only 65% of developers agreed.

Another of the survey’s key findings was that organisations that had adopted DevOps were more likely to deploy on demand.

The survey also found that for high-performing teams, the automation of the software development lifecycle was a top priority. In fact, 71% of DevOps practitioners stated that automating more of the software development lifecycle was a high priority compared to 60% of Agile practitioners.

In addition, 41% of remote teams agreed that they had a well-established DevOps culture compared to 34% of in-office teams.

DevOps was ranked third among the most important technology investments for 2018 (after continuous integration, deployment and delivery; and automation and containers), while Agile did not feature as highly as a priority investment.

Given that DevOps is the traditional software development approach of the GitLab project’s Community edition, which provides a complete open source development platform, and the fact that survey participants were drawn from the GitLab community, the favourable rating of DevOps is probably not unexpected.


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x