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CI/CD explained: Methods, tools, pipelines, and beyond

Published: February 14, 2023

DevOps is an approach or philosophy that focuses on integrating software development and IT operations teams as well as automation to enhance the development life cycle. CI/CD, however, is a method or set of practices for developing and delivering applications, including code changes, for DevOps teams to follow. Both aim to break down barriers so that developers can respond faster to market opportunities, accelerate software deployment, and streamline operations. 

Ultimately, they’re two sides of the same coin. Where DevOps breaks down communication barriers between engineering and operations teams, CI/CD are crucial to deploying software to production. DevOps focuses on people, and CI/CD organizes the technology execution.

In traditional structures, software engineers and operations teams are siloed. With DevOps, they collaborate together and are cross-trained in related skill sets. The two teams share ideas, practices, processes, technologies, and a focus on delivering high-quality products. With a shared culture, these two teams are empowered to develop new products in a way that encourages rapid, continuous deployment.

CI/CD tools and methods, also called the CI/CD pipeline, take this to the next level by automating and monitoring the application lifecycle for greater reliability, even as DevOps teams accelerate their development timelines.