Agile moves to the next phase
I'm attending and speaking at the Software Development Conference in Santa Clara this week (this is the same conference where, for many years, I chaired the C++ and Java tracks). Last night a group of us (myself, Bill Venners, Chuck Allison, Allen Holub, and Eric Evans, who wrote "Domain-Driven Design"), went to dinner at the White Lotus in San Jose, a place I try to get back to every time I'm in town.
That day I had seen, among other things, an agile talk Robert Martin and one by Mary Poppendieck. Although I've been following the printed literature, the last time I had seen any agile talks was at least a couple of years ago. What most impressed me by these two talks is the focus and the level of polish, in particular the shift to more evidence-based presentations. These are far more convincing and compelling arguments than the presentations that appeared when XP and agile initially appeared; I would classify those presentations as being more "enthusiasm-based."
Eric has been attending XP and Agile conferences and following everything more closely than I, and he said that someone at one of the recent conferences had made a presentation that pointed out that the early adopter phase had ended, and the current phase of adopters are more conservative and require clearer evidence in order to be convinced. Because I had already had my own XP-like experiences by the time XP appeared, the enthusiasm-based approach worked on me, but I found that these two presentations had a much more solid and mature feel to them. Of course, the fact that the presenters were very good made a big difference, as well.
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