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A Side-by-side Comparison of Azure DevOps and GitHub

Fourth Lagao Fourth Lagao December 7, 2020
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Microsoft has always been at the forefront of releasing developer tools that impress and get the job done. Two of its more popular tools are Azure DevOps and GitHub. While these programs offer different features, similarities, and differences, users are almost always on the gray area about which software to integrate for projects.

Azure DevOps

Starting out as Visual Team Studio Services, Azure DevOps is part of Microsoft’s bigger platform, the Azure DevOps Server. From the get-go, the tech giant envisioned it as a source code and application lifecycle management tool.

Over time, Azure DevOps went through several changes and upgrades. Its recent release under its new name was a delight for developers. The key difference was Microsoft’s initiative to offer Azure DevOps services in separate, single features instead of a whole package. If a team only needs Azure Boards, they can purchase just that without the other costs of the services they don’t need.


GitHub is a repository hosting service that was launched in 2008. It’s popular for cloud-based code sharing, social network, and its online community. The platform quickly grew into one of the biggest (if not the biggest) collaboration and sharing pages on the web.

Aside from spearheading social coding, GitHub also offers accessible features for projects of all sizes. Among the most notable are public and private repositories, code workflow tools, and GitHub code reviews.

A side-by-side comparison

We listed down a comprehensive guide to pinpoint the reason why Microsoft created two tools in the first place, along with notable differences crucial for developers who are finding it difficult to choose.

Azure DevOps vs. GitHub

  1. GitHub wins in code repository reference.

When you visit a few tech pages and forums, you’ll quickly find that the go-to for code hosting websites is GitHub. Its vast database holds almost all the types of documentation that you’d need. Code management has always been a strong point for GitHub, from code discussions to pull requests.

Azure DevOps has its own version of a reliable code repository, albeit not as popular as GitHub. A possible reason for this is that it simply isn’t the software’s main focus (unlike GitHub, which centers its roots on the said service).

  1. Azure DevOps offers impressive project management features.

Efficient project management processes are crucial for DevOps. Part of it is managing tasks, timelines, and deadlines. While both GitHub and Azure DevOps have tools for project management, there are still key differences worth noting.

GitHub’s project management platform isn’t as popular as its repository. Yet it’s still reliable for existing code projects in its database. Azure DevOps, on the other hand, has Azure Boards (an extension dedicated solely for project management) that works with almost every system.

  1. Both platforms offer well-built CI tools.

Continuous Integration (also referred to as “CI”) is the process of merging new code updates to existing code with less downtime. The practice revolves around the concept of continuous improvement – addressing bugs earlier can help avoid bigger mishaps in the future.

Both Azure DevOps and GitHub acknowledge the importance of CI in DevOps. Azure DevOps rolled out its “Pipelines” platform specifically for CI and continuous delivery (or what we’d call “CD”). GitHub followed through with its  “Actions” feature that allows users to set up their CI processes directly from their repositories. The two are almost indistinguishable with a number of the features from GitHub’s tool built on the same platform as Azure DevOps.

  1. GitHub is a go-to for open source projects.

Every tech enthusiast knows that GitHub is a gold mine for communities and projects that are open for everyone. Even large projects are sometimes uploaded on the platform. The entire GitHub model focuses on making codes available for every developer – the foundation of its reputation and reliability as an open repository.

Azure DevOps also offers hosting for public projects. However, the platform is focus is geared towards the corporate approach.

  1. Ease of use for both platforms is subjective.

Both GitHub and Azure DevOps have learning curves, but the depth of which depends highly on the type of development and skill level of the developer. GitHub’s platform mirrors social media pages with collaborative functions, while Azure DevOps is extremely easy to navigate for those who are familiar with Microsoft interfaces in different platforms.

Azure DevOps’ integration makes other services like Visual Studio and Eclipse more accessible to the developers. On the other hand, GitHub’s consistent designs make it easy to pick up by developers of all levels of experience.

Fourth Lagao is a Director of Business Excellence at Intelegencia. When he is not working, he Loves to do painting


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