Software inventory is a key cog in the gears of any IT business or organization. Efficient software leads to satisfied customers, increased ROI, and the overall growth of the company. Certainly, as there are always a million different ways to perform a single job, the same is the case with software development. Developers often struggle to choose which software development methodology is right for them. Agile and DevOps methodology are leading the current crop of software development methodologies, and most companies opt for one of the two. But what factors influence the decision? Which one to choose? What criteria to consider? We have all the answers for you.
The different models that exist around DevOps methodology
Before getting into what to choose, let us lay down the buffet for you. In today’s world, a number of different software development methodologies exist- some from the past, some recently developed. To choose one is often no easy task. Developers must consider multiple variables, and also keep in mind that business strategies and goals align with their end-product. What are the options available for businesses and developers?
- The traditional or waterfall model
One of the older software development models, the waterfall model is an excellent choice for developers when they are aware of all requirements early on in the life cycle and do not expect them to change much through the course. It fits smaller projects that are completed in around 100 hours or less, and where developers understand all involved variables well enough to formulate clear instructions for coding. Over time, the waterfall model has crept towards redundancy and obsolescence, since most software projects these days revolve around cases where cost and other variables need more consideration. These may even change throughout the life cycle, hence, the waterfall model does not fit modern projects, as well as other models, do.
- The agile development methodology
The agile methodology came into being when businesses realized that needs were not being responded to quickly enough when using traditional models. The agile model revolves around an iterative approach, one that focuses on feedback, review, and rapid software releases. Constant changes are the focal point of the agile methodology, and complex projects are best managed using this.
Another benefit of using agile methodology is that it integrates easily with sprint, safe, scrum, and other tactical frameworks. The tipping point here is having a small development team, since the fewer the people, the faster the work moves, and quicker decisions can be taken. Referring to the tactical frameworks mentioned above, agile dictates that the development cycle be managed in durations of sprints, with each sprint lasting less than a month on average.
- The DevOps methodology
Not so much as a software development methodology, DevOps methodology is actually a framework for bringing together the development and operations teams working on a software project. More of a management methodology, DevOps focuses on integrating both aspects of the software life cycle and having them work in cohesion. The central aspect of DevOps is managing end to end engineering processes, and relying on constant testing and monitoring to ensure that the software developed is of the highest quality.
Unlike agile, where the primary focus is to develop and release software in quick sprints, DevOps methodology is all about ensuring the reliability and security of the software. Production-ready code is delivered almost every day, or at best, every few hours, to contribute to all the continuous processes that are at the heart of DevOps. The team size is large, and feedback towards the project comes from the internal team itself. The impact of DevOps has been nothing but phenomenal. However, it is important to choose the right methodology that suits your product.
Picking from the different software development methodologies?
Considering a variety of major factors is crucial to the decision making process when it comes to software models. You would definitely want a software development methodology that does complete justice to your development team, the software requirements, and the organization’s strategy/goals. Here are some key areas that you should consider when making the decision.
- The flexibility of requirements. When changes are to be frequently introduced along the line, an agile methodology suits the project best. Since requirements are not set, the agile model adjusts for these changes on the fly and produces software that caters to all requirements. However, if your project requirements have stability and predictability as characteristics, then the traditional waterfall model might make a little more sense to use. Where does DevOps methodology come into the picture? DevOps focuses more on operational and business readiness, rather than just pertaining to the software requirements and nothing more. When development and testing are as important as requirement elicitation, DevOps methodology should be brought into the mix.
- The project size and time frame. As we have seen before, smaller projects are best built using the traditional waterfall model. As we scale up and build projects with more complex requirements, much more management and orderly process scheduling is required, making DevOps methodology the ideal choice for large projects. It focuses on managing end to end engineering tasks, and this is what is key for the success of larger software projects. When it comes to the time frame, the agile development model suits best when development processes unfold in sprints (around 1-month duration cycles). This facilitates the rapid release of systems that may be partially completed in nature, but maintain an impression of fast progression. DevOps methodology is best used when code and software is continuously worked upon in all senses of the word. Continuous testing, deployment, monitoring, and integration mean that code is sent to production almost every day. This is where the DevOps methodology comes in handy.
- The end-users. If you are targeting a certain controlled group of end-users with your project, then chances are that requirements will not change much. The waterfall model will be well suited to handle all processes. But if your platform bases itself around feedback from users, with ever-changing requirements, then it might be a better idea to choose the agile or DevOps methodology.
Remember, the best software development methodologies are those which satisfy your needs, and no one else’s. Before making a decision on what model to go for, analyze your needs, demands, requirements, and strategies, and choose the best model that aligns everything in place.
Need help with DevOps consulting or have any questions regarding your product? Feel free to get in touch with our team at Unbox Innovations.