CI/CD, DevOps and Agile, When is one software development methodology better than the others?

CI/CD, DevOps and Agile, When is one software development methodology better than the others?

As you well know CI/CD, DevOps and Agile are three fairly popular and effective software development frameworks. Although they are different from each other, they have the ability to support each other, so when teams of developers discuss how to implement these approaches on a project, they are determining how best to use these tools to produce the most ideal technology solution. In the development industry, creating or building products has never been done with a single tool, and in our environment when software development companies implement these three models in an initiative, the results are usually transformative. For that reason in this article, we will review how these three sophisticated and profitable practices for software production are composed and what are their functional characteristics in order to establish the existence of a scenario in which one is better than the others.


We previously dedicated an article to deepen in all that CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) refers, so here we will address only the necessary aspects to develop our explanation. Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery is a collection of operating principles and best practices that engineering and technology development teams leverage to incorporate and deliver source code modifications efficiently and reliably.

Continuous Integration (CI)

The goal of this methodology is to establish a sound strategy for building software and testing in an automated fashion. To this end, the members of the development team have the mission of integrating, in a shared repository and continuously, all changes or adjustments to the source code. This allows testing and compilation at each insertion with the objective of discovering errors and resolving them quickly, allowing the creation of a software creation lifecycle with automated tools which reduce efforts and increase results.

Continuous Delivery (CD)

The purpose of this methodology is to keep the code in a deployable state. That is, its set of processes ensures that all configuration modifications, bug fixes and code updates can be released to a production phase without the need for manual checks. The purpose of CD is to enable development teams to release code in loops or short cycles to build, test and deploy software to shorten its final delivery to production. Generally speaking, CI establishes a lifecycle in which the effort to build software is reduced in order to test and integrate it, and CD creates loops where software is tested to verify its functionality in order to deliver the best quality solutions.

Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) features:

  1. Focuses on defining life cycles for the software.
  2. Relies on pre-programmed tools.
  3. Relies on process automation.


More than a DevOps methodology, it is a collaborative culture that focuses on ideas, technologies, processes and roles to streamline software production, making it more efficient and organized by sharing development processes and operations in a single framework. See our article to learn more about DevOps. Under automated infrastructure, DevOps teams develop software in small pieces in order to integrate, test, monitor and deploy it in short periods of daily work. This allows an increase in the frequency of deployments and a reduction in software release time. The purpose of DevOps is to eliminate the negative impact of professional overspecialization and indirect roles within development teams to ensure clean and effective software production. This is because a DevOps team has no internal barriers between the engineering and operations areas as all team members are trained in the skills of each role, ensuring better communication, participation and collaboration on each project.

Characteristics of the DevOps culture:

  1. Focuses on a collaborative culture.
  2. It relies on team members.
  3. Depends on everyone's participation.


Being the precursor methodology of CI/CD and DevOps, Agile Development recognizes as its main objective to deliver effective technology solutions based on frequent and iterative cycles in which collective participation is encouraged under the framework of values and techniques of the Agile manifesto. Its set of processes eliminates internal barriers within development teams and enables effective collaboration between key stakeholders (developers and customers) to accelerate delivery. On the one hand, this is possible due to its short lifecycles that also include customer feedback and on the other hand because its teams are borderless in their composition, making its members highly cooperative, self-organized and cross-functional professionals. In essence Agile seeks to empower all members, invite customers to be part of the team, adapt to change and reduce time to produce high quality software.

Features of Agile Development:

  1. Focuses on processes.
  2. It relies on all project members.
  3. Depends on your response to change.

General differences

  • Agile is a practical philosophy and framework within which DevOps and CI/CD exist.
  • DevOps is a group attitude and agile development methodology that uses tools to accelerate software production, testing and release.
  • CI/CD is a DevOps method for achieving agile development through technologies that automate your processes.


All three practices share the same goal: Produce the best software solutions in the shortest possible time. So:

  • Agile allows you to manage workflows to develop software by relying on processes and human resource to listen and correspond to customer requests and changes.
  • CI/CD is an outgrowth of Agile but relies on process automation so as not to depend entirely on the human element. This allows testing almost from day one and with greater consistency to reduce costs and margin for error.
  • DevOps is an ideology that eliminates the structure based on the roles of its members, which allows you to achieve agile development through collaboration and communication between engineers and developers in all elements and stages of each project.

When is one software development methodology better than the others?

On a practical level the only difference that exists between Agile, DevOps and CI/CD is related to the implementation of their processes, this means that none is better than the other in terms of results because as mentioned above each of these practices is oriented to help teams develop high-value solutions in the shortest possible time. Therefore, engineers or developers implementing any of these practices should be aware of the others and if they plan to move from one to another they should make sure that their teams and companies are prepared for the change so as not to affect the customer experience. So, in short it is worth keeping in mind that:

  • Agile focuses on processes that support change while accelerating delivery.
  • CI/CD focuses on software-defined lifecycles and relies on tools that promote automation.
  • DevOps focuses on group culture relying on all members and their participation.

At DreamCode we have agile methodologies that allow us to implement Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) processes in all the technological developments that our clients require. For this reason, we invite you to learn about our services and schedule an appointment with our experts to form an alliance that will allow you to improve the level of competitiveness of your company. Visit us now