There is no doubt in my mind that daring to be critical of agile methods is career limiting.
In fact, just recently, with the best of intentions, I inadvertently talked my way out of a job by criticizing agile methods. Putting the same thoughts into writing on my blog is probably even more career limiting. But, I’ve seen development teams run for the door too many times to say nothing.
On that note, here I’m whole-heartedly agreeing with Ron Jefferies’ recent Developers Should Abandon Agile post. Like him I’m a programmer and after 20 years I don’t have any intention of ever stopping.
At this point, if you are a professional programmer you should stop reading this post and read Ron Jefferies’ post (or this associated article). I cannot say what he said better than what he did. I will however attempt to distill his advice.
In essence, rather than focus on whatever agile method you may be asked to use, focus your attention and energy on these two aspects:
- your core skills, a part of which should entail writing clean, refactorable, well tested code
- releasing it in a consumable fashion with confidence multiple times per day to add real value to the business you may be serving
No matter what agile method you may be asked to use, if you achieve both of the above your stakeholders are likely to be delighted.
Update: 4 September 2018
The following article, which is based on a keynote speach by Martin Fowler at Agile Australia 2018, is strongly supportive of Ron Jeffries views and my own. In it Martin Fowler suggests that the main challenges we should focus on, in 2018, are dealing with faux-agile and fighting the Agile Industrial Complex. Indeed.