Thinking@Scale Yan Qi     About     Feed

Clean Agile

Teamwork is everywhere, especially important in the human society. For example in the software project, it cannot be emphasized too much as long as more than one person get involved. There can be many aspects affecting the performance of teamwork. The keys are about communication and collaboration.

In my not-so-long career as software engineer, I found one of biggest challenges that prevent developers from delivering a successful software product is due to the communication gap between them and their business partners. Many failures could be avoided if both parties are able to sync-up earlier. However, timing is not the only factor. The communication may lead nowhere if the common language is absent. The business people often use a human language, like English to describe what they need, or the specifications; whereas, developers prefer more formal languages, typically thinking of translating the business specifications into code (e.g., acceptance tests). This difference clearly causes a challenge.

Agile tries to address the challenge faced by a small group of software developers with a feedback-driven approach. Therefore a software project is composed of many small cycles, each of which aims to provide a working or deliverable product that their business partners can review and both sides would discuss and decide what to do next. Instead of particular rules or steps, Agile emphasizes a set of principles and values, and encourages to cultivate a culture out of those. The book by Robert C. Martin, Clean Agile: Back to Basics gives a very clear explanation on these values and principles. Furthermore, it provides quite a few guides for applying Agile in practice. As a result of reading and learning, I made a presentation based on the book, hopefully it could highlight the main points.