Possibly wrong subject - Software Development [Moved]

Project Management, Agile Methodologies, Scrum, Software Development, Software Architecture Styles, Development Platforms, and more...
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OscarG
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Possibly wrong subject - Software Development [Moved]

Post by OscarG » Thu May 22, 2014 7:18 pm

I know this is not a nuclear/energy type issue, but I have a question and I hope someone here might be able to help. The company I work for is in the process of revamping some of our core software and we have been having some long arguments as to whether we should use the classic, tried-and-proven method we've been using, or adopt one of these (silly?) newer agile-type techniques. Any ideas, opinions, etc. would be greatly appreciated. And, any back-up material to the ideas, would be even better ;-)
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work - Thomas A. Edison

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by Derek_Thomas » Thu May 22, 2014 8:43 pm

OscarG wrote:I know this is not a nuclear/energy type issue, but I have a question and I hope someone here might be able to help. The company I work for is in the process of revamping some of our core software and we have been having some long arguments as to whether we should use the classic, tried-and-proven method we've been using, or adopt one of these (silly?) newer agile-type techniques. Any ideas, opinions, etc. would be greatly appreciated. And, any back-up material to the ideas, would be even better
"Silly?" ?? Why do you think that new Agile methodologies are silly? I am no expert and don't have all the sources you are looking for, but from what I've read about them over the years, they are anything but! The old way of doing things (cost plus, unlimited budgets, it's ll be done whenever is done, etc.) are gone. No industry can afford to do that, in this day and age. Not just software, but all processes I think need to be flexible and responsive to change. Unless you have some specific reason for doing so, I would not call them "silly".

As for the content of this message, can we ask the moderator, one more time, to please create a few different sections to discuss similar subjects? Pleaseeee! It doesn't really belong in this section.

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by WiltonMarks » Fri May 23, 2014 2:17 am

This is probably in the wrong section, as the OP suggested, but I agree that Agile is the approach that should be used for most software development projects, if not all. Only people that do not understand it would call it silly. I think that Jeff Sutherland's contribution in coming up with the Agile manifesto, was one of the biggest things in software development in the last 30 years.

BTW, a quick Google search for "Agile" will net you more references that you can handle.

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by Bill_WG » Fri May 23, 2014 6:01 am

WiltonMarks, absolutely! Anyone who thinks that Agile is silly doesn't know what they are talking about. It's the ONLY way to approach software development nowadays!

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by OscarG » Fri May 23, 2014 12:24 pm

Wow, I didn't mean to start a big controversy :-)

I think it's silly because of what I've heard about it, I am not really familiar with it - you are right, I should not be so quick to opine. It just sounds to me like everything else these days, that we have to be warm and nice and play like a team and not have a manager and we all participate equally so nobody's feelings are hurt,... I guess I'm old school but that's not how things got done in my day. It took leadership and courage to tell someone you are not doing your job and looking for a replacement that would do it, so that the project could be completed. So, in that respect, this new approach yes, it sounds silly to me.

But, I'm willing to be proven wrong.
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work - Thomas A. Edison

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by Bill_WG » Fri May 23, 2014 1:44 pm

I may have been a bit too generalizing, when I said that's the ONLY way, but I also think you are being too simplistic when describing Agile. It has nothing to do with what you are describing. I am no expert, and can't explain it very well, but if you take a look at the Agile Manifesto, you'll probably see that it's a lot more than just sitting around being nice to each-other.

BTW, although software development is where it got started, I don't think it's limited to that. It's being used for project management in all sorts of industries.

I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people on this forum that can explain it to you.

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by OscarG » Fri May 23, 2014 2:24 pm

I have seen and read all this "general" talks about agile, and I have been scouring the web to become a bit more informed about it. It really isn't all that pretty all the time. Since I have no direct experience with it, I rely on what others say...

http://programmers.stackexchange.com/qu ... ement?lq=1
"Recently, I talked to the developers who are part of this initiative; they tell me that it's not fun. They are not allowed to talk to other developers by their Scrum master and are not allowed to take any phone calls in the work area (which maybe fine to an extent). For example, if I want to talk to my friend for kicks who is in the agile team, I am not allowed without the approval of the Scrum master; who is sitting right next to the agile team."

Agile appears to be fertile ground for Cargo Cult Programming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult_programming) where developers go through the motions to make sure they check off the list of Agile parts, but very little useful work comes out of it.

It really is not all that clear-cut, http://brodzinski.com/2011/01/good-wate ... agile.html and that's why I posted here looking for some feedback. Maybe from people that have used both the older traditional methods and the new Agile approach, so that they have something to compare.

Most of the things I've read say that Agile may be good for small teams and simple projects, but what I am doing about involves some serious size software projects!
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work - Thomas A. Edison

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by OscarG » Fri May 23, 2014 2:29 pm

BTW, I *just* sent a message to the moderator asking that they set-up a section for programming/software on this forum. You may also want to do the same, so we can convince them to do so!
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work - Thomas A. Edison

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by Evan Tromblay » Fri May 23, 2014 2:50 pm

Although not as against Agile as OscarG is, I have to kind-of agree with him. It was offered to managers and executives as panacea, but it is not. It works in some instances, but doesn't work in others, at least not as evangelized by those who have bought into the cult.

OscarG, I spent most of my time in software development (in one role or another) and I also would like to see a separate section on this forum. I just sent a message to the site admin to that effect :-)

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by PLeonat » Fri May 23, 2014 6:07 pm

I am not a PM and everything I say here should be taken with a grain of salt, but I have two very good friends that are certified PMPs and one is an avid supporter of Agile while the other thinks it's O.K., but it's not the solution-of-all-solutions, as some would have us believe. When we get together for drinks, it makes for some very interesting disagreements ;-)

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by WiltonMarks » Fri May 23, 2014 11:28 pm

OscarG wrote:"Recently, I talked to the developers who are part of this initiative; they tell me that it's not fun. They are not allowed to talk to other developers by their Scrum master and are not allowed to take any phone calls in the work area (which maybe fine to an extent). For example, if I want to talk to my friend for kicks who is in the agile team, I am not allowed without the approval of the Scrum master; who is sitting right next to the agile team."
That's one man's opinion and second hand at that! And, it's possible that at one (or some) companies that's how Agile is implemented. That doesn't make it the norm, nor does it make the process "silly". I'll say it again, in today's fast moving business environment, the old, classic, steady, slow, rigid way of doing things does NOT work.

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by Phil_Jion » Sat May 24, 2014 3:00 am

Ah, another good argument, it reminds me of the arguments about what is the best programming language. :)

I have had exposure to PM for the last 15 years and I've been involved with waterfall, scrum, Kanban,... I have to say that I still haven't made up my mind what is better. Each time I think the agile methods are better, I am faced with a project that is better suited for waterfall.

I guess what I am saying is that it depends on the project. The decision has to be made on a case by case basis.

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by jerryt » Sat May 24, 2014 3:14 am

Phil_Jion wrote:Ah, another good argument, it reminds me of the arguments about what is the best programming language. :)

I have had exposure to PM for the last 15 years and I've been involved with waterfall, scrum, Kanban,... I have to say that I still haven't made up my mind what is better. Each time I think the agile methods are better, I am faced with a project that is better suited for waterfall.

I guess what I am saying is that it depends on the project. The decision has to be made on a case by case basis.
Phil, is Kanban and scrum the two main agile methods? As you can probably tell I am not very familiar with agile, but everyone is talking about it, so I want to learn.

And I agree that the admin should create a new section about all his. I ll send a private message.

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by Phil_Jion » Sat May 24, 2014 6:41 pm

Phil_Jion wrote:is Kanban and scrum the two main agile methods?
Well, they are both considered Agile and many times the two are used together. There are actually a number of Agile approaches. Extreme Programming, Scrum, Crystal, Lean Software Development, Feature Driven Development (FDD),... Different people like different approaches.

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Re: Possibly wrong subject - Software Development

Post by jerryt » Sat May 24, 2014 7:09 pm

Thanks for the info, Phil.

BTW, I just got this from the moderator!!!

Re: New section for software and Agile
Sent: Sat May 24, 2014 6:01 pm
From: Moderator
To: jerryt

We appear to be getting a number of requests for such a new section. We will see if we can add one in the next day, or so, and we'll move the new discussion into it.

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