Agile is overrated

The Agile hype is not over yet, but I am having second thoughts about its feasibility. Short sprints, much interaction, more room for changing requirements: they are all useful and implementable. Yet, one of the core principles of Agile development is the ability of team members to apply more than one skill, in my case testing. Almost any tester I know, is not overly multi-skilled.
As for myself, I can make use cases, class diagrams, user stories and basic design products if need be. However, helping out a programmer with for instance Test Driven Development or pair programming is not part of my skill set. I know some basics of programming/scripting/OO because I taught myself the basics of Python. That’s pretty much it and it’s not enough (yet) to contribute to the aforementioned.
So how much Agility can we actually expect from one another? I am not convinced.

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4 thoughts on “Agile is overrated

  1. John

    Then you have unfortunately haven’t had the pleasure of working on a correct Agile project. The main reason for Agile is so that a small team with different disciplines can work together and make each other stronger as a whole. That doesn’t mean you as a tester should start programming, no you should help a programmer understand how he can work better by getting a grasp of what you are going to test and how. The programmer can in turn help you understand the functionality faster and better, enabling you to make use cases faster and more complete the first time around.

    Agile was invented to allow different skills from different people to interact with short lines and creating room for more interaction than you normally have in a project.

  2. JM

    Being part of a couple of agile/scrum teams over the past couple of months (and observing others), I’ve noticed one of the biggest pitfalls is creating short waterfall like sprints. It might even be worth my while writing something on that topic.

    But talking about a hype, I think most of the hype surrounding Agile/SCRUM is over. It might even be time for a new one….

  3. David Post author

    I am part of a SCRUM team now. Some things work, but the problem I see now is typical “I am hammer, so everything is a nail” behavior. Projects have to be Agile when, for instance, waterfall would be better.

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