Pragmatic Agility

Dave Thomas speaking at the Pasadena Rails Studio.

There was an interesting discussion during the Agile Toolkit Podcast interview with Dave of the Pragmatic Programmers. I’ve transcribed a few of the comments about agile methodologies below.

Dave Thomas: I think agile methodologies have adopted their own venom. And to that extent, I’m pulling back, away from, the individual agile methodologies. I believe very, very strongly in agility. I’m an author of the agile manifesto and I think the underlying values of agility fit far better with my world view of how software should be built. I think some of the implementations of agile methodologies are, frankly, scarey in their kind of…

Bob Payne: dogmatic?

Dave Thomas: dogmatic, yeah that’s a good word, that’s a mild word for some it. It’s kind of like “my way or you’re not doing it properly”, a lot of blackmail, a lot of absolutes. And to me that’s not what agility is all about. So I pull back from that. I don’t want to be associated with that.

Bob Payne: In the past I’ve felt a number of pulls in different directions and I’ve started to realize that it is not necessarily the particular practice but what the resulting outcome is, the rhythm that it sets up.

This perspective sounds very similar to what I’ve been calling “agile without a name” or “effective software development” or what Tim Beck calls “pliant software development“.

P.S. I highly recommend the Agile Toolkit Podcast. It’s a great resource to hear candid discussions about agile topics.

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