Development Methods in the real world.

Levi Pearson levi at cold.org
Tue Sep 25 22:01:29 MDT 2007


Steve <smorrey at gmail.com> writes:

> I have seen companies that are using Agile, Scrum, XP, Waterfall,
> Feature Driven Development etc.
> In preparation for interviews I have been doing research on every
> development methodology I can find, trying to figure out what these
> are really all about.
>
> It seems to me that most if not all of these "methods", are really
> just buzzword filled metaphors management is using, and most can be
> summed up in two words.  "Micro Management".

Well, you can have micromanagement with any method of development, no
matter how organized or disorganized it is.  The point of the software
development methods is to try to make software development more
manageable in the sense that stakeholders know what is going on and
are able to make business decisions so projects don't end up hugely
late and over-budget.

The terms you've listed are overlapping ones; some are general terms,
and some are more specific instances.  For example, 'Agile' is kind of
an umbrella term for incremental/empirical development processes and
practices.  Scrum is a kind of Agile managment style that emphasizes
short development cycles and empowering the development team to make
decisions and get their jobs done.  XP is a collection of practices
for programmers that were designed to challenge the usual way things
were done and hopefully increase productivity.  It includes things
like Feature/Test Driven Development, Pair Programming, etc.  I think
the jury is still out on the benefit of any of these, but anecdotal
evidence suggests that many groups find them beneficial.

As far as personal experience goes, I didn't follow any particular
methodology until my latest job, where we're loosely following Scrum.
I like Scrum--it's not very intrusive into my style of working and it
focuses on letting the programmers do their thing.  None of us are
'true believers', though, so your mileage may vary.

                --Levi





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