CI/CD vs DevOps vs Agile

Learn the differences between CI/CD vs DevOps vs Agile. Understand what the best practices are and when to use which among the three

CI/CD vs DevOps vs Agile


Three different tools, Agile, DevOps, and CI/CD, are each significant in their own right. The outcomes are transformative when a development organisation applies all three for its intended purposes. Nevertheless, before diving right into the differences between the three tools, we will first explore each of them briefly to understand each concept and the differences effectively.

First, let us examine the tool, CI/CD.

In continuous integration (CI), team members integrate their work more frequently. Teams aim to integrate at least once every day and even once per hour, reaching integration that takes place "continuously," according to the CI practice.

Integration has typically been an expensive engineering task. On the other hand, CI needs a version control system that tracks the modifications made to the code base while allowing ongoing changes to the master trunk. Developers can correct errors, enhance software, and shorten the time it takes to release updates in the codebase by automating the process of building and testing changes.

As CI is to build and test, continuous delivery (CD) is to packaging and deployment. Teams using CD may create, set up, package, and orchestrate software to be pushed to production at any time in a software-defined method, i.e. high automation and low cost. 

Before deployment, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is possible with continuous delivery. The finished product has so undergone the appropriate testing. Compared to the Continuous Deployment method, where testing is automated and integrated into the production and testing stages, it is different. This method enables repeated incremental deployments without requiring a lengthy release period.

Stages of a CI/CD pipeline

  • Source Stage
  • Build Stage
  • Test Stage
  • Deploy Stage

Example of a CI/CD tool

Features of Jenkins

  • The development phase is quick.
  • Throughout the day, Jenkin will build and test code frequently.
  • Every time a build and test are successful, the code is released.
  • Automated build and test process, which reduces problems and saves time.

Next, we will be looking at an overview of what DevOps is.

DevOps, like agile development, focuses on the constraints of culture and roles.

DevOps aims to reduce the detrimental effects of stovepiping and over-specialisation jobs within an organisation that impedes quick or efficient responses to production issues.

Cross-training each team on the abilities of the other helps DevOps businesses break down boundaries between Operations and Engineering. This strategy promotes more frequent and high-quality communication and an increased appreciation for and participation in each other's tasks.

A DevOps mindset results in two essential practices they are

  • Microservices Architecture: This reduces administrative coordination, allowing teams to update individual services more quickly and efficiently.
  • Incremental updates: Regular, minor changes to the application that adapt to the changing client demands.

Example of a DevOps tool


  • When creating software, developers, project managers, and contributors work together under the umbrella of Azure DevOps, which fosters a collaborative culture and set of procedures. 
  • Dashboards for teams that can be customised with editable widgets can be used to share data, trends, and developments.
  • Flexible notification options.
  • Enables businesses to produce products and make improvements faster than possible with conventional software development techniques.
  • Built-in wikis for information exchange.

Now that we have an overview of CI/CD and DevOps, let us look at Agile methodology.

The project management facets of a software development team are the main emphasis of this methodology.

This methodology's fundamental tenet is that there can never be a monolithic software development lifecycle because of how modern software development occurs. Therefore, the team concentrates on bringing in more modest and incremental modifications rather than gathering changes for one "major" deployment. 

As a result, it strives to enable team members to collaborate closely with clients, provide software updates quickly, and accept the dynamic nature of software development.

This framework promotes collaboration amongst teams in dynamic contexts where developers must constantly adapt. The Agile development methodology is compatible with several frameworks, including LeSS, Feature Driven Development (FDD), and Scrum.

Therefore, even though agile has evolved over the past 20 years to signify different things, its core principles have not changed: remove process obstacles to empower employees, quickly develop working software, engage closely with customers, and adjust to change.

Example of an Agile tool


  • The ability to collect, assign, and prioritise tasks is one of the essential aspects. 
  • JIRA's interface can be altered to fit your particular business procedures.
  • Teams may see long-term objectives and up-to-date release information with Jira. 

Since we have explored and overviewed all the concepts of CI/CD, DevOps, and Agile, it is time for us to view all the significant differences among these three.

Differences between CI/CD, DevOps, and Agile

When to use what?

In this article, we explored the concepts of CI/CD, DevOps, and Agile. We also learned the key differences that lie among all three of them. 

To summarise when to use what, these would be the primary vital points:

  • CI/CD emphasises automation by focusing on tools that highlight the software-defined lifecycles.
  • DevOps emphasises roles that place a premium on responsiveness while focusing on culture.
  • Agile approaches emphasise change while speeding up delivery.

Diksha B Patro
September 1, 2022