Is CI/CD and DevOps the Same?

Naveen Kumar Singh
Published in
7 min readMar 6, 2022


Is CI/CD and DevOps the Same

Two of the most commonly used terms in software development and testing circles are CI/CD and DevOps.

There is no option to choose between the two. Teams with a DevOps culture might benefit from incorporating CI and CD into their workflows. In reality, a DevOps attitude that is already ingrained in a company assists in ensuring that the CI/CD process is carried out properly.

To understand the distinction between them, it is best to first understand what these terms mean. Understanding the specific differences can be difficult, but we will do our best to elucidate them in this article.

Understanding Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery

CI/CD is a set of operating principles and practices that enable development teams to reliably deliver frequent code changes.

Continuous Integration (CI) is an engineering practice that allows developers to merge their code changes in a central repository to run automated builds and tests. Teams implementing CI seek to integrate code on a daily or even hourly basis.

CI strategies depend on automation tools to execute build and testing with the ultimate goal of achieving a software-defined life cycle that reduces the amount of effort required.

Continuous Delivery (CD) is a practice that refers to the process of developing, testing, and delivering software code improvements. The most critical aspect of the CD is that the code is always deployable.

The primary objective of CD is to make deployments routine events that can happen at any time. It makes no difference whether the deployment is a decentralized system, an embedded system, or a complex production environment.

Continuous Deployment can also refer to a practice in which all changes are automatically deployed into production. In contrast to Continuous Delivery, there is no final manual approval step before going live.

Since software changes arrive in production more frequently, high-functioning CI/CD practices directly facilitate agile development. As a result, customers have more opportunities to experience and provide feedback.

It is critical to have the appropriate CI/CD tools in place for both of these practices. Without the right tools, no CI/CD pipeline can function.

Understanding DevOps

As agile developers became more effective at writing and pushing code, separating Quality Assurance and DevOps teams proved inefficient. The DevOps approach was developed to address this issue.

DevOps is a collaborative culture that includes a set of practices, ideas, tools, technologies, and processes that help to speed up the product development process. This significant cultural shift emphasizes effective communication, integration, and improved team collaboration in order to deliver high-quality products.

DevOps is primarily a mindset that emphasizes communication and collaboration among developers and testers. This was necessary because, in non-DevOps environments, developers are frequently unaware of Quality Assurance and On-base plus slugging constraints (“It works fine on my machine”).

Furthermore, because they work on multiple projects, QAs and operations personnel frequently lack context on the business requirements of any software. DevOps is a methodology that assists organizations in building software and their production teams in a way that allows for continuous rapid deployment.

In a non-DevOps environment, developers throw code “over the wall” to Quality assurance (QA). Quality Assurance finds bugs and reports them to developers to be debugged. As per the developers, the bugs are being criticized, and quality assurance personnel are on the same page at all stages of on QAs and the testing environment.

QA sends the code “over the wall” to On-base plus sluggings teams when all bugs have been resolved. There is a high risk of their system crashing when the code is released, and therefore the operations teams must limit changes to their systems. The cycle continues as Ops blames QAs and developers.

As suggested by the DevOps set up the solution for teams is to be cross-functional. Developers, IT, and operations work together since collaboration must include everyone with a stake in the software delivery.

Automation is critical for a successful DevOps implementation. It is critical to use the right test automation frameworks, built into the right toolchains, to automate large portions of the development and deployment pipeline.

However, DevOps is more than just tools. It begins with a shift in mindset among all parties involved and then employs tools to put that mindset into action in software development and testing.

Key Differences Between CI/CD and DevOps

Although many people wonder how CI/CD and DevOps are different, it is not appropriate to directly compare them. There isn’t an option to choose between the two.

After we’ve gone over the textbook definitions, you should have a good idea of the similarities and differences between DevOps and CI/CD. They are not interchangeable; they are simply used in the same situations.

  • First and foremost, as previously stated, DevOps is not a tangible product or service. It’s a school of thought. Consider open-source software as an analogy.
  • While CI/CD is a philosophical framework in terms of automation commitment, it is enabled by software tools and code that configures the behavior of those tools. Maintaining a DevOps philosophy can aid in the smooth operation of your CI/CD pipeline!
  • Teams with a DevOps culture can benefit from incorporating both CI and CD into their processes. In fact, a DevOps mindset that is already embedded within an organization can be beneficial in ensuring that the CI/CD practice is carried out successfully.
  • The goal of DevOps is to better combine the roles of development and operations in order to achieve a common business goal. It is about streamlining business processes across the organization among various teams.
  • CI/CD aims for more frequent deliveries in order to obtain faster feedback from the end-user. Both of these processes benefit from automation. We hope this has cleared up any misunderstandings for you.

There are no real differences except the levels at which each term operates.

  • DevOps is an agile development practice and mindset that streamlines software development, testing, and release by utilizing agile principles (collaboration, communication, and using the right tools).
  • CI/CD is a DevOps strategy that employs the appropriate automated testing tools to implement agile development.

Hopefully, it’s clear that DevOps and CI/CD are not synonymous, and that CI/CD is a tool or process widely used within DevOps-oriented teams. All of these practices have the same goal in mind: to produce better software in less time.

There is no clear distinction between them because these practices mostly overlap all the time. Any developer/QA/Ops who is familiar with one practice will almost certainly be familiar with the others.

When in doubt

Here’s a quick and easy way to tell the difference between DevOps and CI/CD:

  • CI/CD focuses on software-defined life cycles, emphasizing automation-focused tools whereas DevOps is concerned with culture, emphasizing roles that highlight responsiveness.
  • CI/CD assists development teams in delivering frequent codes that change consistently, whereas DevOps assists organizations in developing software and their production teams in a way that allows for continuous rapid deployment.
  • CI/CD focuses on automating the entire pipeline, from testing codes to integrating them, testing the entire codebase, and keeping it deployment ready. Whereas DevOps focuses on collaboration and the use of appropriate automation tools.
  • CI/CD aids in the consolidation of all code change into a single repository and the execution of automated tests. Whereas DevOps provides a set of best practices for quality software development.

How to Implement CI/CD within a DevOps Culture

Now that you understand the distinctions, you may want to learn more about what successful implementation entails. DevOps and CI/CD can both significantly improve the effectiveness of software development teams, but they require some effort to fully integrate into a team.

The primary advantages of incorporating CI/CD into a DevOps framework are faster feedback, which allows for effective continuous improvement in bug quality because ​​effective bug fixing not only makes an app more appealing to users but also benefits the reputation of the company that developed it.

When it comes to implementing this framework in your organization, there are some specific challenges to be aware of.

The first step is to use a CI/CD tool. This will be the primary tool for controlling and automating the other services and processes. It should be linked to a source control management system. This facilitates collaboration with the source code. The CI/CD tools aid in the automation of specific tasks involving source code and facilitate team collaboration.

Although an application server can be hosted on a virtual machine/server, containers are usually a better option. If you’re absolutely committed to a DevOps philosophy, you should incorporate a CI CD pipeline into your workflow.

A pipeline will help your developers catch errors and fix potential bugs as soon as possible, reducing downtime to a bare minimum.


DevOps and CI/CD are widely regarded as two of the most beneficial and productive software development methodologies.

When properly implemented, they play an important role in the development of software that consistently meets (and exceeds) user expectations.

DevOps is an idea rather than an actual product or service. It’s a way of thinking. Consider open-source software as an example.

Maintaining a DevOps mindset may aid in the seamless operation of the CI/CD pipeline.

CI/CD is a DevOps strategy that ensures the building and deployment processes run smoothly, easily, and quickly without the need for human intervention.

It should now be clear that CI/CD and DevOps share the same goal in software development. The key distinction is in the manner in which automation is implemented.

Consider DevOps to be a larger culture with specific practices to follow. CI/CD, on the other hand, is a set of processes based on continuous feedback.



Naveen Kumar Singh

Agile Coach and Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) @Agilemania, Servant leader @Agile 30 and Developer @GitHub, Ranting @LinkedIn & an Artist @YouTube