Sep 29

Steve Yegge on Agile

A lot of other people have piled on Stevey’s rant. I already posted in the comments on his blog, but I thought I would hit the highlights here as well.

  1. Steve holds Google up as a paradigm of “the right way to do software.” But as far as I know, none of Google’s projects are profitable, except search. So they hardly qualify as “successful” in any meaningful sense of the word. (Which is unfortunate, because I wish Google nothing but the best)
  2. Steve seems to think the entire concept of a methodology is bad. Or, at least calling it a methodology is bad. Whatever.
  3. He says that if 90% of the projects following your process “don’t do it right”, then it is a bad process. Which is true. It is, of course, true of all methodologies.

Economists often point out that you can’t compare the messy, inefficient marketplace of the real world with the imaginary perfect marketplace in your head. Tou have to compare it to another real-world thing. Stevey seems to think that Agile doesn’t hold up to the imaginary process in his head, which is basically Google’s process, plus, I assume, profitability. But again, that process doesn’t yet exist – if it eventually does work out, I suspect more poeple will follow it, and that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

But bottom line, at the current moment, I think you can sum up Agile development with the following quote: “Agile Software Development is the worst possible software methodology – except for all the others.”

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