I've noticed something really odd in the past three months - I've started to write articles about Agile Software Testing.
Oh, this is no big surprise, I mean, I work at a shop that releases working software to production every two weeks, uses pair-programming, test-driven development, plans releases using stories and story-points. Typical Agile stuff.
While I have always been interested in lightweight methods, fast feedback, and personal excellence, a quick check of my old published articles
finds all of three with "Agile" in the title - one was for a magazine issue with an Agile theme, a second was an interview, and the third, "Peril and Pitfalls of Agile Adoption
" was not entirely complementary to the subject.
At the same time, there has been an explosion of Agile Books, Agile Consultants, Conferences and Advice. This morning on twitter, my writing partner, Chris McMahon claimed the Agile Advice 'market' was 'saturated.'
It's pretty easy to argue that if you are a thinker looking to not become part of the herd - that Agile in 2009 is probably not the place to be.
And yet, all of a sudden, here I am talking about Agile Testing. In the two months I've published:
Accelerate your Agile Testing
Using Automation to speed up Agile Testing
Test-Driven Development Face Off: Part I
Test-Driven Development Face Off: Part II
And I'd like to keep going. Why the sudden energy? Why am I suddenly interested in the 'Brand' Called Agile, when I typically suspicious of labels in general?
Here's what I think is going on. The Agile Manifesto
is getting on ten years old. Since the manifesto was developed, we've had at least two generations of dogmatic thinking - the XP years, then the Scrum years. We've had a fair amount of chest thumping and experts talking about the "right" way to do it and the "wrong way." We've seen practices (someone) doesn't like labelled #notagile, followed by someone else pointing out that it's not the practices, it's the principles, followed by ... you get it.
And, quietly, over in the corner, some people were actually shipping working software to customers
, and continually getting better and better and it - and - in some cases - developing the skills to talk about it.
After a decade of Agile development, we've got anecdotes, we've got stories, we've got experience. And I can start to reply to the chest-pounding and dogma by saying "really? Let me tell you about my experience. What was yours?"
In other words, I believe the Agile movement has a chance to move beyond dogma and into actually talking about systems thinking and tradeoffs
We have a chance to have an entirely different kind of discussion around Agile Software Development and, about that, I am excited.
... but what do you think? Has the 'Agile Software' movement hit a brick wall or just gotten started? Do we have opportunities to move it forward?