Blog 6: My personal take on Agile

While doing many programming projects that where for school and personal learning I found myself getting lost in my code. Where some might say that’s good in that I am really diving in it; I found I was getting lost for all the wrong reasons. The key for me is to stay organized. On anything other than a simple code test I found myself doing a lot better when I wrote down my classes or jotted down some notes on what I wanted to do. I am no Bill gates or Mark Zuckerberg and so I need a little extra planning to get my code working. This plan can be of many different forms. I could be writing down my desired classes and making a UML diagram to piece together how it’s all going to fit. I could even simply write down what I need to happen and then break that down into methods. All I need is something that will help keep everything out of my brain and stuck in the physical world so that I can visually see my ideas.

Why is this important? Well more or less what writing down and staying organized for my personal needs is to me, Agile is to a team. Agile is all about organization and staying focused on the project and the dreaded deadlines. From my own in use classes I feel that our team is better equipped to handle our project once we started to use Agile. We force ourselves to meet up and talk about our project, throwing out ideas that we need to improve on. Before we might not have met up so much and have had as many discussions about a project. Before we used Agile we wouldn’t have been as organized as we are now mostly because with all the required documents and ideas for our project. Staying organized is not very easy with 5 random students who have already more work to do then hours in the day. But with Agile our projects have gotten easier and we have become more effective at completing our tasks.

That’s my personal take on using Agile these past weeks. With the Burn Down charts and the backlogs my team has been able to stay more focused on our target and more effective at getting our projects goals done. My personal favorite thing about Agile? User Stories. User Stories allow you (or at least me) to view a problem or a project need in a different light. It allows the developer to put themselves in other’s shoes to see what the project needs to accomplish. I love that. Everything is about perspective. And with User Stories we are better able to see what our end goal is with many different perspectives. This allows for a better product and a more complete project.

My thoughts when told I need to put more thought prior to starting projects

Images Courtesy of:

1) http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/66753/what-software-development-methodology-was-used-to-develop-stack-overflow

2) https://allthingsmoralandphilosophical.wordpress.com/ (ps Thank you Bill Watterson)

Boehm, B. (2002). Get Ready for Agile Methods, with Care. 64-69. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from http://www.csis.pace.edu/~ctappert/cs615-02/boehm-2002-agile.pdf

Ambler, S., & Holitza, M. (2012). Agile For Dummies®, IBM Limited Edition. Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774: John Wiley & Sons.

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