Where Did All the Positions Go?
Many traditional IT professionals are struggling to see how they fit into an agile software development project. The easy answer is that in their current state of mind they very likely don't fit. The hard answer is that they need to completely rework their expectations and skill sets if they're to succeed on agile teams. Just as we required a paradigm shift in the early 1990s to succeed at object technology, a similar paradigm shift is required for agile techniques.
To be successful as an agile developer, you must:
- Focus on building working software.
- Maximize collaboration.
- Become a generalizing specialist.
- Minimize hand-offs.
- Constantly improve your skill set.
If you're struggling with change, the book "Who Moved My Cheese?" will prove to be very inspirational reading. In the fable two pairs of mice have different responses when change occurs in their environment. They had learned that every day cheese would be placed in a specific spot. Then, one day, the cheese is no longer there. After a few days of no cheese, one pair of mice decide that they need to go in search of the cheese. The other pair are rigid and decide not to change. The two mice who go in search of more cheese eventually find it, and learn to be flexible over time. We never find out what happens to the other two mice, but likely it isn't a pretty picture.