Agile, agility?

One of the architects of the agile manifesto, Dave Turner, has written an eloquent piece on how the term “agile” has been horribly misappropriated:

The word “agile” has been subverted to the point where it is effectively meaningless, and what passes for an agile community seems to be largely an arena for consultants and vendors to hawk services and products.

Sadly, this mirrors my experience, and probably that of many other IT practitioners out there. The term has been comprehensively bastardised, and has pretty much completed a transition to “buzzword” status. Many organisations use it as a shortcut: poorly-designed apps which they think they’s producing on the cheap. Rather than being genuinely agile in approach, software teams find themselves delivering over-specified software for disinterested business teams wondering why their costs aren’t reducing. It’s a bit of a sorry state of affairs, although of course there are plenty of people also doing it right.

Turner recommends a return to the core precepts of the manifesto drawn-up over thirteen years ago:

Individuals and Interactions
over Processes and Tools
Working Software
over Comprehensive Documentation
Customer Collaboration
over Contract Negotiation, and
Responding to Change
over Following a Plan

Put like that, it’s easy :-).

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Well that was a fair few weeks of effort on all fronts. As some of you will know, we recently co-hosted the inaugural Collaborative Stack Community event and good fun it was too. The venue was fab (the Soho Hotel, picked out by good chum and colleague Abigail Roberts at RavenDesk), the attendees were in good voice, our speakers were great, and as ever Gab and Mike organised things wonderfully.

Me? I just turned up and looked pretty.

Many thanks to everyone who took part, and keep your eye on the CSC site, as we will post material, post-conference thoughts and, hopefully, news of future events!

Your language is not dead


Meanwhile, I suspect 80% of programmers are still working on problems where their development velocity is a much bigger problem than how many hits their server can take before falling over. I dunno, maybe my view of the industry is skewed. I just don’t think there are really that many developers, statistically speaking, who can cite system capacity as their current problem #1. Or #2, or #3.

Excellent exposition of those interminable “language blah is dead” memes that just won’t quit.

(Having said that, if all you know is Lotusscript, well… you know).


I’m a developer / general IT wrangler, specialising in web apps, the mobile web, enterprise Java and the odd Domino system.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. Read more…