Software development is Hard. One of the main reasons is that it is a complex adaptive system. Agile - when done right - seems to do a very good job of providing stabilizing feedback. We take a look at what it means for something to be a 'complex adaptive system' and what particular practices in Agile help us out.
Whether deep inside the brain, within software, or even within the teams which develop software, how do processes work, how do they misfire, and how can they be altered to achieve the desired results?
Sometimes teams have trouble starting new habits: writing unit tests, fix compiler warnings, not breaking the build. How do we help the team change these habits? Clint Shank designed a game to help people transition.
Greg Smith offers an in-depth practical perspective on making your agile transition just as much about culture change as it is about process change.
Joseph Pelrine has come full circle: from university studies in Psychology, journeying through SmallTalk, XP and Scrum, and now back to broader questions: Why and how does Agile work? In this interview, Joseph talked about Complexity Science, and how story-telling, "sense-making," network analysis and speed-dating's gut-feel approach may prove more useful than our old toolkits for managing teams.
Even the very greenest of agile teams clearly recognize the word 'Retrospective'. But, alas, it is often overlooked that a retrospective may be a wasted effort if not used to initiate an actual improvement that the team follows through on. Jim Shore gives advice on how to make the most of your retrospective and reminds us of the activity's ultimate place in the agile heartbeat.
In this panel from QCon San Francisco, Joshua Bloch, Chet Haase, Rod Johnson, Erik Meijer and Charles Nutter discussed and debated the future of the Java language and APIs based upon the lessons we have learned from the past. Topics included static versus dynamic languages, removing code from Java, forking the JVM, and the next big programming language.
Recently, there has been a lot of debate over the future of the Java platform, with some arguing for more features to compete with languages such as C# and Ruby, and others saying that Java should become a more stable language lest it become too complicated to use. Bruce Eckel started a new round of debates by stating that Java should stop adding new features entirely.
During the last few years, there has been wide-ranging discussion about adding closures to the Java language, either as part of Java SE 7, or in some future, unspecified release. At Javapolis, Joshua Bloch presented his opinion about the controversy, and why he feels that CICE is a more suitable approach.
"A fundamental premise of the 'train-wreck' approach to management is that the primary cause of problems is 'dereliction of duty'" said Peter Scholtes in his 2003 book on leadership. Mary Poppendieck's recent article on process, people and systems asked: "Which is more important - process or people?" and showed how Lean is an alternative to certified process improvement programs like ISO 9000.
This half hour presentation looks at a Fortune 500 company's effort to achieve faster time to market by transitioning from RUP to Agile. Hussman & Stenstad reveal the gradual process from readiness assessment and chartering through education and practice to the creation of an adaptive culture with a "living plan", sharing lessons learned along the way.
Does COM still have a place or is it a dead end technology?
Mary Poppendieck spoke at Agile 2007 providing an insight into the adaptation of manufacturing management principles in the software development arena.
Lean methods employ Kaizen, or continuous improvement, to reduce waste and improve results on a regular, even daily, basis. On the leanagilescrum group, Alan asked, "Are there known techniques for facilitating kaizen activities within Lean/Agile software development?"
Agile teams seem to be meeting more resistance, as they scale up and move from "early adopter" territory into the mainstream. Does this mean Agile can't work in more traditional organisations? Not necessarily, say coaches Michael Spayd and Joe Little, in a new InfoQ interview: what's needed now is an awareness of the need to facilitate organizational change.