Reviewing the Agile Manifesto

Photo by Kellen Riggin

I love the Agile Manifesto. Go ahead and visit, bask in its turn-of-the-Millenium aesthetic, and read it again. (If you are involved in software development, you have read it before, right?) It will take 60 seconds at most, and I’ll be here when you return.

Back? Good. I recommend visiting the site frequently, it’s helpful to periodically be reminded of its principles.

Few things have resonated with me quite as strongly as the manifesto, and given its impact on the software industry, I am apparently not the only one who has experienced this. There are very few companies out there who don’t make a huge effort to proclaim themselves as Agile.

The problem is, few companies actually prioritize the principles of the Agile Manifesto, despite their claims.

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Improving information technology efficiency with low-code

One of the most impactful shifts over the last decade in information technology has been the rise of low-code solutions. However, low-code and its potential impact often isn’t fully understood by everyone who could benefit from it.

One of the myths surrounding low-code is that these solutions will replace developers (wrong – but hopefully they help developers avoid lots of the tedious stuff). On the other side of that coin is the myth that these tools are pointless because you still end up needing to write code (yes, you still have to write code – but much less of it).

These myths both completely miss the power of these solutions. Low-code brings the responsibilities and influence of developers and non-developers closer together in the software development process. How?

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We’re all in this together: shared responsibility and incentive alignment in software development

Coworkers collaborating in front of a computer
Image by Lagos Techie

At any business where software is built, strategic decision-makers need to have a basic competence with technology and understand the principles of software development. This knowledge and understanding must be used by all decision-makers as they take an active role in software planning and development, not just those who write the software.

Despite how important this approach is, many companies that develop software for internal use are accustomed to separating “INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY” and “THE BUSINESS”, to the detriment of the company.

Dissolving these barriers and helping everyone actively participate in the development process can be the single biggest competitive advantage most companies have available to them. Producing value with software is hard, so being one of the rare companies that can do it will put you way ahead.

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Future-proofing your software

Image by Tomasz Frankowski

For those of you working in software development, especially enterprise software, how many times have you been told you need to “future-proof” what you are building?

Or perhaps you have been the one making the request to future-proof something? Maybe you have been frustrated by how often the team says “For that feature, it’s going to take us a sprint to go back and extend some APIs to support it”. Or maybe the team starts talking about the process to migrate a database, and how much effort needs to go into doing it correctly.

For those who are in the second group, here is a dirty little secret known well by those in the first group: there is no such thing as future-proofing your software.

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