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26 Jul 2021/01:11:31

Agile + 20

Oxide and Friends Twitter Space: July 26, 2021

Agile + 20
We’ve been holding a Twitter Space weekly on Mondays at 5p for about an hour. Even though it’s not (yet?) a feature of Twitter Spaces, we have been recording them all; here is the recording for our Twitter Space for July 26, 2021.
In addition to Bryan Cantrill and Adam Leventhal, speakers on July 26 included Tom Lyon, Tom Killalea, Dan Cross, Aaron Goldman, and others. (Did we miss your name and/or get it wrong? Drop a PR!)
Some of the topics we hit on, in the order that we hit them:
  • Al Tenhundfeld’s Agile at 20: The Failed Rebellion
  • The Agile Manifesto
  • [@0:55](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=55) Adam’s experiences
  • From the Agile Manifesto history > The only concern with the term agile came from Martin Fowler > (a Brit for those who don’t know him) who allowed that > most Americans didn’t know how to pronounce the word ‘agile’.
  • [@6:25](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=385) > The problem with agile is when it became so prescriptive that it > lost a lot of its agility.
  • [@8:06](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=486) > There’s so much that is unstructured in the way we develop software, > that we are constantly seeking people to tell us how to do it. > The answer is it’s complicated.
  • Steve Yegge’s Good Agile, Bad Agile > So the consultants, now having lost their primary customer, were at > a bar one day, and one of them (named L. Ron Hubbard) said: > “This nickel-a-line-of-code gig is lame. You know where > the real money is at? You start your own religion.” > And that’s how both Extreme Programming and Scientology were born.
  • [@9:15](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=555) Edward Yourdon
    • “Decline and Fall of the American Programmer” book
  • [@10:26](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=626) “The principles are not all wrong. Some today even feel obvious.” > There’s also a lack of specificity, which gives one lots of opportunity > for faith healers to come in.
  • [@14:43](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=883) “Something I found surprising about Agile was how rigid it became.” 
    • Dan’s perils of personal tracking methodology
    • Sun’s engineers connecting directly with customers
  • The Agile Ceremonies. (an ultimate guide
    • Sprint Planning, Daily Stand-Up, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective
  • [@20:48](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=1248) “I think we overly enshrine schedule estimation. If there are any unknowns it becomes really hard.” > I think there’s a Heisenberg principle at work with software: > you can tell what’s in a release or when it ships, but not both.
  • [@23:25](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=1405) Tom Killalea talks to success stories he’s seen with Agile 
    • Building S3 at AWS
  • [@28:31](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=1711) Sprint planning and backlogs 
    • Big work chunks, responding to changing priorities
  • [@33:39](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=2019) Success or failure of an Agile team? 
    • “Do demos and retrospectives”
    • Unknowns in software development make estimation hard
  • [@39:11](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=2351) Dan’s experiences 
  • [@46:40](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=2800) Software as both information and machine. 
    • Consultancies, repeatability, incremental results.
    • “For each success story, there are many failures.”
    • Manifesto as a compromise between different methodologies
    • Silver Bullet solutions, cure-alls. See Fred Brooks’ (1987) “No Silver Bullet” paper
  • [@51:18](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=3078) Demos: “Working software is the primary measure of progress.” 
    • Experimentation and iteration
    • No true Scotsman fallacy
    • What does Agile even mean anymore?
    • “Letting people pretend to agree while actually disagreeing, but then going off and building working software anyway.”
  • [@59:45](https://youtu.be/3tp5EtPdPwY?t=3585) Ed Yourdon and the Y2K problem
  • Maybe there are too many Agile books already.
  • Tom Killalea conversation with Werner Vogels 
    • AWS development
  • Agile is more like a guideline than a target to hit.
  • Consistent team composition over time
  • “Soul of a New Machine”: trust is risk
  • The answer can’t be “you’re doing it wrong.”
  • How do you know if it’s working for your team?
(Did we miss anything? PRs always welcome!)
If we got something wrong or missed something, please file a PR! Our next Twitter space will likely be on Monday at 5p Pacific Time; stay tuned to our Twitter feeds for details. We’d love to have you join us, as we always love to hear from new speakers!