Agile software development is a group of software development methodologies based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams.

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471
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19answers
143k views

I've inherited 200K lines of spaghetti code — what now?

I hope this isn't too general of a question; I could really use some seasoned advice. I am newly employed as the sole "SW Engineer" in a fairly small shop of scientists who have spent the last 10-20 ...
107
votes
15answers
84k views

Why do we use story points instead of man days when estimating user stories?

In agile methodologies (e.g. SCRUM), the complexity/effort needed for user stories are measured in Story points. Story points are used to calculate how many user stories a team can take in an ...
104
votes
6answers
10k views

Agile for the Solo Developer

How would someone implement Agile process concepts as a solo developer? Agile seems useful for getting applications developed at a faster pace, but it also seems very team oriented...
101
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11answers
11k views

Where should my team start with becoming “modern”? [closed]

I'm a relatively new developer, fresh from college. While in college and during subsequent job-seeking, I realized that there were a lot of "modern" software development methodologies that my ...
93
votes
17answers
15k views

Does Scrum turn active developers into passive developers?

I'm a web developer working in a team of three developers and one designer. It's now about five months that we've implemented the agile scrum software development methodology. But I have a weird ...
84
votes
13answers
8k views

Is a large increase in velocity realistic in a Scrum environment?

My manager has recently really been pushing to use velocity as a target and measure of productivity. We are currently working at an average velocity of 50 story points. My manager wants us to increase ...
76
votes
10answers
11k views

Scrum - Dealing with failed sprints and deadlines

Many Scrum books and articles say that a failed sprint (when the team fails to complete some features from the Sprint Backlog) is not something that bad, it happens from time to time, and it can ...
70
votes
12answers
13k views

Are deadlines Agile?

For clarity, a deadline is: A time limit or deadline is a narrow field of time, or particular point in time, by which an objective or task must be accomplished. From wikipedia My whole software ...
65
votes
16answers
9k views

Is the agile approach too much of a convenient excuse for cowboys

I believe that an agile approach is best for projects where the requirements are fuzzy and a lot of interaction is required to help shape the end user's ideas. However... In my professional work, I ...
62
votes
13answers
10k views

Is Agile the new micromanagement?

This question has been cooking in my head for a while so I wanted to ask those who are following agile/scrum practices in their development environments. My company has finally ventured into ...
59
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9answers
10k views

How do you track what you and your team are working on day-to-day?

I'm struggling with how to keep track of what myself and people on my team actually do each day. I get a good broad picture by going over completed cards each week and stand-ups help a bit, but I feel ...
55
votes
14answers
9k views

Effective Ways to Introduce Agile into the Workplace?

In your experience (anecdotal or otherwise), what are some effective ways to introduce Agile into a non-Agile organization or company? UPDATED: Can anyone speak to cases where you tried to introduce ...
53
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13answers
4k views

How can we reduce downtime at the end of an iteration?

Where I work we practice scrum-driven agile with 3-week iterations. Yes, it'd be nice if the iterations were shorter, but changing that isn't an option at the moment. At the end of the iteration, I ...
52
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5answers
3k views

Bug reopen vs. new

A bug was opened, fixed, verified and closed. A month later, it showed up again in a subsequent version after several iterations without any regression. Provided the bug characteristics are the same, ...
52
votes
9answers
17k views

Can Agile/Scrum be used by 1 or 2 developers?

Everything I've been reading and researching up to this point describes how Agile/Scrum works great with teams of about 4 to 6 members, maybe even more. In my current shop, we have about 8 developers ...
51
votes
5answers
43k views

What is an integration test exactly?

My friends and I have been struggling to classify exactly what is an integration test. Now, on my way home, I just realised, that every time I try to give a real world example of an integration test,...
50
votes
11answers
3k views

How do you explain to an “agile” team that they still need to plan the software they write?

This week at work I got agiled yet again. Having gone through the standard agile, TDD, shared ownership, ad hoc development methodology of never planning anything beyond a few user stories on a piece ...
50
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3answers
11k views

How is architectural design done in an agile environment?

I have read Principles for the Agile Architect, where they defined next principles : Principle #1 The teams that code the system design the system. Principle #2 Build the simplest architecture ...
49
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11answers
2k views

How can we make agile enjoyable for developers that like to personally, independently own large chunks from start to finish

We’re roughly midway through our transition from waterfall to agile using scrum; we’ve changed from large teams in technology/discipline silos to smaller cross-functional teams. As expected, the ...
47
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7answers
9k views

How to make sprint planning fun

Not only are our sprint planning meetings not fun, they're downright dreadful. The meetings are tedious, and boring, and take forever (a day, but it feels like a lot longer). The developers complain ...
45
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9answers
8k views

Is having fixed delivery dates for elements an “Agile” way of working?

We keep being told we are going to be working in an agile way on a new project by senior management. They have set up stand-ups, sprint planning, retrospectives etc. etc. However, they have now come ...
45
votes
1answer
14k views

Is there a canonical book on Agile?

As a solo developer, I think I'm using an Agile-like process, but I'd like to compare what I'm doing to real Agile and see if I can improve my own process. Is there a book out there that's the de-...
44
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9answers
5k views

Is there a viable alternative to the agile development methodology?

The two predominant software-development methodologies are waterfall and agile. When discussing these two, there is often much focus on the particular practices that distinguish them (pair ...
44
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10answers
77k views

Relationship between user story, feature, and epic?

As someone whose still new to agile, I'm not sure I completely understand the relationship or difference between a user story, feature, and epic. According to this question, a feature is a collection ...
42
votes
9answers
5k views

How to sell Agile development to (waterfall) clients

Our development shop would really like to do more agile projects but we have a problem getting clients on board. Many clients want a budget and a deadline. It's hard to sell a client on an agile ...
40
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10answers
7k views

Is writing software in the absence of requirements a skill to possess or a situation I should avoid?

I find that some software developers are very adept at this, and often times are praised for their ability to deliver a working concept with abstract requirements. Frankly, this drives me crazy, and I ...
39
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9answers
10k views

Can you be Agile without doing TDD (test driven development)?

Is is possible to correctly call yourself (or your team) "Agile" if you don't do TDD (Test-Driven Development)?
38
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7answers
4k views

When does pair programming work? When to avoid it?

Rather than slavishly pair program all the time, we use pair programming selectively on our team. I think it works best in the following circumstances: Ramping up brand new team members on a project ...
38
votes
5answers
3k views

Why do we use the word “sprint”?

One of the founding principles of the Agile Manifesto is Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace ...
36
votes
17answers
7k views

Daily standups- yea or nay? [closed]

How valuable (or not) do you think daily stand-up meetings are? If you're not familiar with it, this refers to a daily meeting that is part of Scrum adherents (and some other agile methodologies). ...
36
votes
2answers
15k views

Should I buy Clean Code after reading The Clean Coder? [closed]

I"m currently reading The Clean Coder by Robert C. Martin. It's a great book and I'm learning a lot from it. My objective is to become a "professional" programmer so I'm trying to learn the most I ...
35
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6answers
2k views

Are bugs part of technical debt?

Our Scrum Master keeps referring to bugs as technical debt. Is he right, are bugs considered to be technical debt in the world of Agile?
34
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4answers
4k views

Scrum - What are team members busy with during a sprint

So, a scrum sprint is a fixed time period during which a specific set of features should be implemented. And a scrum team consists of all the people committed to delivering those features, the ...
32
votes
9answers
4k views

Should we avoid using design patterns in constantly changing projects?

A friend of mine is working for a small company on a project every developer would hate: he's pressured to release as quickly as possible, he's the only one who seem to care about technical debt, the ...
32
votes
6answers
31k views

What is the role of the lead developer in an agile team?

In a non-agile development team a lead developer generally: Sets the standard (coding and otherwise) Researches new technologies for the team Sets the technical direction for the team Has the final ...
32
votes
8answers
18k views

Scrum - how to carry over a partially complete User Story to the next Sprint without skewing the backlog

We're using Scrum and occasionally find that we can't quite finish a User Story in the sprint in which it was planned. In true Scrum style, we ship the software anyway and consider including the User ...
31
votes
11answers
4k views

Scrum for a single programmer? [closed]

I'm billed as the "Windows Expert" in my very small company, which consists of myself, a mechanical engineer working in a sales and training role, and the company's president, working in a design, ...
30
votes
10answers
2k views

Scrum: how to integrate work done by an overachieving developer out of band?

We have a "typical" SCRUM team and we commit to work for a sprint, and also maintain a backlog. Recently we have run into a problem of trying to integrate/handle the work of an overachieving developer ...
30
votes
6answers
3k views

Pair programming when driver and observer have different skill level and experience

I know pair programming is an agile software development technique in which two programmers work together at one workstation. One, the driver, writes code while the other, the observer, reviews each ...
29
votes
8answers
12k views

Story points for bug fixing tasks: Is it suitable for Scrum?

I'm just wondering if we should assign story points to bug fixing tasks or not. JIRA, our issues-tracking software, does not have story point field for Bug type issues (it's only for Storys and Epics)....
28
votes
7answers
3k views

Should Agile teams deliver new features daily?

My company is in the midst of a transition from waterfall-style development to Agile/Scrum. Among other things, we're told that the expectation is for us to have new working, testable (by QA) ...
28
votes
8answers
30k views

What's the difference between “use case”, “User Story” and “Usage Scenario”?

Is there an exact, but simple and understandable defintion of the distinction between "use case", "User Story" and "Usage Scenario"? there are quite a bunch of explanation, but right now, I see no ...
27
votes
6answers
5k views

How is Agile different from XP?

I read few articles on web to find out how Agile, XP, Scrum, pair programming are different from each other / related to each other and I derived the following line: Scrum and XP are almost same. XP ...
27
votes
2answers
6k views

What is “swarming”?

I've heard swarming mentioned in the context of Agile or Extreme Programming. It seems to be a complement to pairing. What exactly is it? When should it be applied? How do you do it well?
27
votes
6answers
13k views

What's the best explanation of what Story Points are?

We're starting to use Story Points here for our Agile development but I find it hard to explain and also can't find any definitive answer to what they are. The best thing I can do is point to other ...
26
votes
10answers
1k views

Can 'Agile' be applied to Healthcare IT teams?

Can Agile be employed in a field like Healthcare IT, where so much of patient care depends on the quality and timely delivery of systems?
26
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8answers
2k views

What to do about “Failure Driven Development”?

At our shop, we strive to be agile. And I'd say we are making great strides. That said, a few of us have spotted a pattern we have started calling "Failure Driven Development". Failure Driven ...
26
votes
4answers
11k views

How can a single developer make use of Agile Methods? [duplicate]

I am a freelancer and work as a single developer. In all cases, I am the person wearing different hats. I am the Scrum Master and I am the only person in the development. What I am not is the Product ...
25
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12answers
2k views

Does Agile force developers to spend more time actually working?

Looking at common Agile practices it seems to me that they (intentionally or unintentionally?) force developers to spend more time actually working as opposed to reading blogs/articles, chatting, ...
25
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8answers
9k views

What is the best way to divide work among developers

My team and I are rebuilding a site we developed around ten years ago, and we want to do it in Agile. So after I spent a lot of time reading (probably not enough) I am having trouble with the ...