First of all, DevOps is a combination of two terms: Development and Operations and is used to describe a basic approach to software development. The basic principle of DevOps is to achieve better collaboration between software developers and operational IT teams. Cooperation is to be improved, and thinking in silos reduced. This is intended to accelerate development overall and optimize the result.
DevOps is thus a method for optimizing work throughout the entire software development lifecycle. The DevOps process resembles an endless loop: this extends from the planning of the software through code, build, test and release phases to the deployment of the software, its operation and monitoring. At the end of the loop, feedback leads back to planning. This practice of so-called Continuous Delivery is core to the DevOps way of working. This method enables changes to reach users quickly and securely.
The DevOps practice is now widespread and has become standard. Thus, the successful implementation relieves the burden on technicians and developers as well as management.
DevOps and agile software development mostly go hand in hand.
In the past, software was often developed according to the waterfall principle, i.e. chronologically. The planning phase was followed by the implementation phase. However, since stumbling blocks often arose during implementation that had not been considered beforehand, the implementation phase usually lasted longer than originally calculated. The developers were under time pressure and it was often only at the end of the project that it became clear whether the software was working as desired.
In contrast to the rather rigid waterfall method, the agile way of working is divided into development phases and thus makes it possible to react flexibly to unforeseen difficulties. An important principle is also the close interaction and communication between the customer and the IT service provider.
DevOps goes one step further than agile working: Agile requires a change of mindset in the respective team, whereas DevOps requires a change in the entire corporate culture to be successful. DevOps and agile ensure that autonomous teams can work independently on common goals.
Careful testing of software has never been more important. With the agile DevOps way of working, quality assurance is also optimized. While it used to be common to hand over the finished product to the testers, testing now becomes an ongoing process. So there is no longer a dedicated testing phase at the end of development, but testing is continuous. Overall, the entire process from design through development and testing to operation is accelerated without compromising quality.
A survey also showed that testers in companies that work agilely are four times more satisfied than in companies that work according to the waterfall method.
The DevOps method can still ensure high software quality despite shorter release cycles.