Rob Cook

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Agile - death by a thousand cuts


No one seriously practices waterfall anymore. We all know that up-front design is "bad". Change is too quick, analysis paralysis follows. Some amount of design is required though. Without it we just endlessly refactor in the face of each new user story.

Agile is a curious beast. It divides things up into sushi sized bites, as if all work can be meaningfully decomposed in such a way. There's no sense of ownership of the bigger picture. Just a conveyor belt of more bites coming around, and around, and around. Why can we no longer trust developers with meatier pieces of work?

Why is it the industry buys in to each new trend en-masse? Where are the competing ideas and dissenting voices? It seems everyone is doing agile. Monoculture.

Embracing change is all well and good, but did you ever hear of a construction working building a bungalow, being told part way through its now going to be a high rise? Why is that OK for software? Not all change is reasonable. Software is malleable, but solidity is needed.

For a process built on a lack of ceremony, there sure is a lot of it. Sometimes, it seems like all we do is talk about writing the code instead of just writing it. Often it is easier to do than to talk. Write some code.