I am still catching up after spending a week at Agile 2013. After almost two years at Gartner it was nice to get back to my geek roots again. It was also nice to go to a conference in Nashville instead of the usual Orlando or Vegas. Of course there was too much happening to cover in one blog post, but a couple of themes caught my attention.
First the US Government is getting serious about agile. Despite the fact that most funding models and governance processes are built around waterfall phases, there are a lot of IT folks in the Government making agile work.
The second recurring theme was the growth of Lean/DevOps. Agile has always been about applying lean manufacturing principles to software development. In many organizations, this results in pushing more work on an overloaded operations team. My only concern with the term DevOps is that it focuses on the implementation details. Better flow from development, through test and into operations is important, but it may not be the bottleneck in the cycle from a consumers need for a solution to that consumer being able to use the solution. Lean IT is probably a better name, but that also can be interpreted as a specific agile methodology instead of the context in which agile development is operating in. Gene Kim (@RealGeneKim) covered the three ways of flow in his closing keynote, providing a great description of the context in which agile team members work.
Finally, I had a great talk with Woody Zuill (@WoodyZuill) and others about Mob Programming. We understand that pair programming results in better code and improved net velocity. Woody and his team are coding with an entire team and on (big) monitor. Given the fact that it is still hard to get organizations to understand that pair programming is not twice as expensive as solo work, it will probably be a while before many organizations are willing to support this model. On the other hand, mob programming is worth watching.
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