Monday, August 4, 2014

Three reasons why I love Agile

Agile is like dance for geeky people.
It has been a challenging week but I wanted to take some time to update the blog this week. I have spent over fifteen years of my career as a software developer and project manager.  I have spent the last five years working in the growing field of Agile Software development.  I have been an eager convert to Agile and Scrum for the last five years for a reason.  Agile is the best way to build software.

Unlike many things that are currently manufactured in the 21st century, software is made by hand by creative, highly trained, and eccentric individuals known as software developers.  Ask them to build swing with a tire and a stretch of rope and they will argue about what knots to use and what kind of rope is acceptable.  This means that simple tasks like saving address information into a database or asking a person to log on to a web page becomes a colossal debate.  Agile eliminates this because it forces a software development team to focus on what needs to be done to complete the sprint.  Debate is curtailed when confronted with a deadline.

Next, the people who pay for software often don’t know what they want so developers spend countless months of toil working on software only to be told their labor is worthless because they did not build what the customer wanted.  Agile stops that from happening because the iterative process means the people paying for the software get to see it every step of its production so they get way they want.

Finally, Agile exposes who is doing the work and who is wasting everyone’s time and money.  Engineers and developers have to produce results and hiding in plain sight behind jargon and techno babble will not work.  Either the team succeeds or it fails to meet sprint goals and no amount of excuses will change that result.  It is that environment of honesty which makes going into the office more pleasurable.

So because agile is a more honest environment, gets the customer involved in the development process, and keeps software developers focused, it is the superior method of building software.  This is why I am a big proponent of it and why I will continue to promote it like a zealous Jesuit.  That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Until next time.