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Apocalypse Now?

by Nathan Wilson  |  June 13, 2013  |  Comments Off on Apocalypse Now?

Apocalypse is often thought of as the end of the world in popular movies and literature. This is not it’s only meaning. Apocalypse is the Greek work for uncovering or revealing what has been hidden.  In ancient texts including the bible, it often referrers to the end of one age and the beginning of the next.

To carry this metaphor to software development I think that I have seen at least three horsemen of the apocalypse in the last year:

  • The Microsoft VisualStudio 2012 launch event where Microsoft talked about agile as much as their products.
  • Gartner publishes “The End of the Waterfall as We Know It” (subscription required) declaring that the long term waterfall project model does not work.
  • IBM’s Innovate conference this month where the focus was on DevOps which they defined as continuous development and delivery.

Agile is now mainstream and it has shifted from a grassroots revolution of developers to a management driven push to make IT departments more responsive. Those of us who have been involved in agile for a while can be forgiven for wondering if agile can survive the shift.

The way forward is to leverage this high level attention to push for the changes outside of the development teams that agile requires. Businesses know that they need IT to change, now is the time to explain how small short projects and better engagement between development and their customers can enable the responsiveness that the business needs.

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Nathan Wilson
Principal Research Analyst
1 year at Gartner
27 years IT industry

Nathan Wilson is a principal research analyst in Gartner Research, where he focuses on agile development methodologies.Read Full Bio

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