The latest trends from the Agile Alliance Technical Conference

Proto-Agile, Agile, post-Agile

Each morning, before the conference, a few of us got together for Lean Coffee, an unplanned conversational meeting. Attendees would propose topics that interested them, then we would vote to decide what to talk about. One of the topics we discussed was the state of technical practices in the industry, specifically “Is extreme programming dead?” Again, the idea of post-Agile was floated.

Lean Coffee. Foreground left to right: Woody Zuill, Ardita Karaj

That was when Woody Zuill, who sat at the table, began to talk. According to Woody, proto-Agile is “we know what we had before isn’t working, and now we are discovering new things;” Agile is “We actually understand these modern methods and do them well;” and post-Agile is about continuing to innovate. Woody said that XP can’t be dead, because he uses it every day.

It’s very hard to judge the temperature of the Agile Alliance Technical Conference, and even harder to take the temperature of an industry. What I see for certain is that people are still learning, still experimenting, still innovating in technical practices, while the older, tried practices that have been accepted as true are starting to spread. Test-driven development, refactoring, and “run clean” have gone from being strange ideas to things people want to learn about and make excuses for not doing.

The industry is moving forward.

Where are you now? Which way are you moving, and how fast?