Has Agile Crossed the Chasm? (No.)

There’s another one of those Agile adoption surveys going around that will undoubtedly show that Agile has definitely crossed the chasm.  Regardless of what the survey ends up saying, it’s just wishful thinking.  Sure Agile adoption is much more common than five years ago and it’s probably done infiltrating the early adopter set, but I won’t say that Agile has crossed said chasm until I start getting job applicants that come in with prior Agile experience.  I’ve done 7-8 interviews in the last couple month and only one solitary developer had any experience with Agile techniques (he starts Monday and I’m excited to have him).  That’s not a show stopper if they’re a good developer otherwise and open minded, but it adds considerably to the learning curve for any developer to come onto the project. 

Regardless of experience level with Agile, it’s a huge red flag to me if the candidate doesn’t have some sort of opinion about Agile one way or the other.  Not even knowing what Agile is in general is pretty well a weed out for me.  You might not agree with Agile, but I just can’t imagine being a serious minded software professional with any amount of passion for software and not running into plenty of conversation about Agile.  If you haven’t heard of Agile practices I think your head is buried far too deeply in the sand for your own good.

About Jeremy Miller

Jeremy is the Chief Software Architect at Dovetail Software, the coolest ISV in Austin. Jeremy began his IT career writing "Shadow IT" applications to automate his engineering documentation, then wandered into software development because it looked like more fun. Jeremy is the author of the open source StructureMap tool for Dependency Injection with .Net, StoryTeller for supercharged acceptance testing in .Net, and one of the principal developers behind FubuMVC. Jeremy's thoughts on all things software can be found at The Shade Tree Developer at http://codebetter.com/jeremymiller.
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  • Ollie

    It’s like steering an oil tanker…

  • Brian

    I think a lot of it has to do with the reality of moving corporations to that mindset, which, as has been said, is like trying to turn around a freightliner. I’d love to be more agile in my development processes and I take every opportunity to try and introduce something into the mix. That piece meal philosophy hasn’t always been successful, and likely wouldn’t even be recognized as “Agile” outside of my own little realm. But I can only take so many Gantt charts, so many 100 page “spec” documents, and so many pontifications about waterfall, etc., until I just have to make due with what I have and what I have been able to do.

    Keep it up, Jeremy. Long-time lurker. I appreciate your insights.