No Bull started with an invitation to write a 10-year anniversary piece on the Agile Manifesto for an InfoQ series by the recipients of the Agile Alliance Gordon Pask Award. It ended up being something bigger. In a way it’s my attempt to record my journey over twelve agile years. I wanted to share some of my experiences and, for what it’s worth, how this agile stuff connects in my head at the moment. It’s not meant to be a rallying call. My hope is simply to raise the awareness of where we are twelve years later; to cause people to stop, step back and take in the present - to celebrate what’s good, be clear about what’s bad and why, reflect on the journey so far and think about the future.
Has the world of software development changed after twelve agile years? It’s a rhetorical question. Please use it as a frame for a possible discussion you might choose to have. Software development is nowhere near achieving its potential. While the changes we collectively seek are wrapped up in wider and deeper sociopolitical issues and may take decades to come about, we can ask ourselves how we hamper our own progress towards the production of useful and usable products created from quality software?
As a Chartered Engineer I’m a strong advocate for software craftsmanship and disciplined engineering approach. For me, these have to become established as the bedrock of software development going forward in order for software developers to be professionally credible and self-regulating. I also think that developing software is fundamentally a creative endeavor. It’s not data entry and it’s not a building activity that comes with a set of instructions. When engineering thinking isn’t folded into the creative design process there’s real danger of delivering products that look great but perform like shit.
By the way, I’m not a software developer. But I have seen the good that’s possible when there is only high-quality software.
My enthusiasm makes me impatient. I want to see business, technology and financial thinking converge on a profound understanding of what it actually means to deliver software effectively and produce meaningful results that have positive impact.
I want to be around when that happens.