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Gary Thornock's Weblog » February DevUtah Geek Dinner
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23rd Feb, 2006

February DevUtah Geek Dinner


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Last night was the February geek dinner, and once again it was a great event. The featured presentation was on "Agile and Adaptive Management", and how the concepts of Agile development methodologies are beneficial and relevant to business, both in software development and in other areas.

I've heard misconceptions before equating agile development with unplanned, "seat-of-the-pants" development, or with specific methodologies like eXtreme Programming. (XP is, in fact, one agile methodology, but hardly the only one.) The reality is, planning is needed for agile development just as for all other methods, but with the long-range plans being more flexible, while the short term plans are more detailed. After all, no matter how you choose to develop, conditions and requirements change over the long term, and one way or another, you'd better be prepared to adapt to the changes.

At a high level, agile development is done by:

  1. Having a well-known purpose and organizational value
  2. Hiring great people
  3. Doing something innovative
  4. Learning and reflecting frequently and consistently, and
  5. Delivering results,

all of which drives innovation and produces knowledge within the organization.

It seems that the agile philosophy intersects with Open Source philosophy in at least this point: deliver working software early and often.

More information on underlying principles of agile development is available at agilemanifesto.org.

Next month's geek dinner is scheduled for Thursday, March 23, again at the Miller Business Innovation Center in Sandy.

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