Beyond Scrum – Is Agile dead?

Since one decade the agile coaches keep telling us how to organize our development. How the awesome agile process gives developers better results and that it will make us happier. People were writing excellent code and delivered good software before we had processes called Scrum or XP.

I visited Devoxx in Antwerp last week and saw a few talks heading into this direction: We keep talking too much about how to organize our software development than caring  about our software. There is some truth in that: Every time we are following a new methodology we think this is the holy grail. It’s newer, it’s better, it makes us happier. Does it? It takes time to learn it, to implement it, to follow it and sometimes you need a certification to become a master. It’s process overhead and we should get rid of it.

Here are some programs that want to guide us torwarts a new more programming centric approach:

The Diabolic Developer

Martijn Verburg shows in his diabolic developer talk how much methodologies suck, how collaboration is bad for our career and how we get rid of tester by just shipping the product. It is very funny to see Martijn ranting on well known agile practices. But he has some point in what he’s saying. We’re hiding behind processes that doesn’t help us move forward. You should watch his hilarious  5 minute video from this years OSCON!

Programming Motherfucker

The methodology from Zad A. Shaw can be explained in 2 words: “Programming Motherfucker“. They’re saying in their Manifesto about Scrum, Waterfall, XP, Software Craftsmanship and Pair Programming:

“We must destroy these methodologies that get in the way of…Programming, Motherfucker.”

The’re also using the agile manifesto and replace every value with “Programming Motherfucker” and they offer a pretty cool t-shirt.

Dark Manifesto for Agile Software Development

The Dark Manifesto is written by Andrea Janes und Giancarlo Succi and is replacing the word “over” in the Agile Manifesto by “not”:

“We are uncovering the only ways of developing software by teaching others. Through this work we have come to value:

  1. Individuals and interactions over and not processes and tools
  2. Working software over and not comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over and not contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over and not following a plan

That is, since there is no value in the items on the right, we value only the items on the left.”

Andreas Janes and Giancarlo Succi explaining in their manifesto white paper that Agile has followed the Gartner Hype cycle and that there is room for improvement.

So, should we shoot Agile in the head?

The great thing is, that people keep thinking about Agile software development or development in general and doesn’t want to follow just a new methodology (but having fun creating a new one). We don’t want to be controlled by smart consultants that tells us how we should develop and after two weeks they leave again leaving us alone with a Scrum Master certification. Don’t get me wrong: I love what Scrum has done for our industry. It helped us a lot to have a more team centric approach, more interactions with the customer, constantly reviewing and improving ourselves. It was great and I loved Scrum from the very first days. Now it’s becoming common sense. We should move on. But instead of creating a new methodology and a leader to follow (can you hear me Uncle Bob?), we should look out for what doesn’t work in Scrum or Agile and fix it. We should concentrate more on development than on methodologies. I call this Kick Ass Software Development. This is not ment to be a new methedology but just some things to consider, that can be changed in your software development. In the next few weeks I will write a couple of blog post with some topics that helps making Agile even more awesome, and fixes some process restrictions.

Let our software development and our products Kick Ass again!

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2 Comments on “Beyond Scrum – Is Agile dead?

  1. Sometimes I get the feeling that in fact we LOVE to embrace the change rather than refusing it. Definitely a good thing, in my opinion.

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