One of my agile teams has taken an interesting approach in the early stages of their project. Instead of starting the project with a Sprint 0 where they setup code infrastructure and decide on the solution architecture, they have started building a "Walking Skeleton", which they describe as a DevOps practice.
What this seems to come down to is building something very small (in the case of an API a single endpoint that just returns
200-OK), getting this working in continuous integration, and building out the continuous delivery pipeline to deploy this through each of the environments:
Development ► Test ► UAT ► Pre-production ► Production
In the process they have managed to tick off many of the non-functional requirements that could have been missed if deployments were left to the last minute.
My question is this: what is a "Walking Skeleton" and what benefit does it provide to a Agile team following DevOps practices?