Robert Melton's Writings

Modern Agile: A Dumpster Fire of Dogma and Inefficiency

Alright, folks, gather ‘round and let me tell you a story about the steaming pile of dogmatic bullshit that is modern Agile. Back in the day, Agile software development was like a breath of fresh air, a rebellion against the soul-crushing, documentation-heavy waterfall approach. The OG Agilists were all about putting people first, delivering working software, collaborating with customers, and embracing change. It was like a big middle finger to the bureaucratic overlords.

Fast forward 20 years, and what do we have? A fucking parody of those original ideals, that’s what. We’ve got frameworks like SAFe that are about as agile as a lead brick, and mindless rituals like daily standups and sprint planning that have become more important than actually delivering value. Process and tools have become the new gods, and practical solutions are sacrificed on their altar.

So, why does this bastardized version of Agile persist like a cockroach after a nuclear apocalypse? Well, I’ve got a theory. You see, software productivity has been improving at a ridiculous pace. We’re talking doubling every 3 years. That means a task that took half a year back in 2001 now takes just a month.

This rapid improvement is like a smokescreen, masking the inefficiencies of modern Agile. Even with processes that are about as effective as a screen door on a submarine, we’re still delivering more software than ever before. And let’s not forget about the whole Agile industrial complex - the armies of coaches, trainers, and consultants whose livelihoods depend on peddling this Agile snake oil. Questioning the Agile orthodoxy is like threatening their firstborn.

But fear not, my fellow developers, because I’m about to go full Mike Acton on this shit. In future posts, I’m going to rip apart specific Agile myths like the importance of story points for estimation (spoiler alert: they’re about as useful as a screen door on a submarine) and the need for daily standup meetings (more like daily time-wasting ceremonies). I’ll also shine a light on better approaches like Feature Driven Development that prioritize working software over mindless process.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Agile had its merits. It helped make software development more collaborative and iterative. But modern Agile has devolved into a rigid religion, complete with its own dogma and rituals. It’s time to go back to Agile’s empirical roots and focus on what actually helps teams build great software, not what protects the status quo and lines the pockets of the Agile industrial complex.

The future of software is too important to let these ineffective practices persist like a stubborn case of hemorrhoids. It’s time to put on our big boy pants, question the Agile dogma, and embrace approaches that actually deliver value. And if that ruffles some feathers in the Agile establishment, well, tough shit. Progress isn’t made by coddling sacred cows.

So, buckle up, buttercup, because we’re about to take a wild ride through the wasteland of modern Agile. It’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff, the signal from the noise, and the actual value from the bureaucratic bullshit. The future of software development depends on it.