Agile is primarily a response to the failure of the dominant software project management paradigms including the waterfall model. Continuous development, continuous integration, and continuous deployment are some of the major changes in the world of Agile that need to be adopted by development teams. In fact, contrary to the age-old sequential mode of application lifecycle management, agility has become today’s theme.
But, is Agile a right fit for today’s development practitioners? Is Agile as a new method becoming an impediment to timely delivery for modern developers? Are the developers equipped with all the basic amenities to implement Agile in order to perform to the industry expectations? A lot has been said about the need for following agile, but a lot less has been done to help developers align their day-to-day jobs in agile mode.
In reality, developers need a smooth transition from Waterfall to Agile model that does not involve too much of manual intervention and adoption of a new set of techniques and technologies. The process of transformation to Agile and the journey after it should be easy and conducive enough for developers to help them continue their work in full-fledged mode. In this article, we will take a closer look at how the life of an Agile developer can be made smoother with proper infrastructure and tool integration support.
What Agile means to a Developer
In the era of waterfall methodology based development, developers used to write code on frozen requirements. These codes were then taken through different phases of testing and bug fixing cycles. Today with the Agile practices in vogue, this idea of development has completely changed. Now Requirements are implemented in smaller cycles of iterations. Testing gets introduced at a much early stage into the lifecycle to ensure quality right from the beginning.
The world of Agile has changed the concept of having an isolated development team to a cross-functional team. New concepts like Pair programming, Peer Reviews, User Reviews, Daily meetings are now part of the day-to-day activities of the teams. Developers’ pace of work has become faster with more focus on quality. It is now a cross-functional team with a shared aim and shared responsibility.
Day of an Agile Developer
The agility of today’s development practice has changed the life of a developer. Unlike Waterfall methodology, development using agile methodology gets done in small iterations. The methods of tracking development progress have also changed a lot and are now measured through reports like burn down chart, burn up chart, and velocity charts.
A development team following scrum methodology starts the day with daily stand-up meeting. This is the opportunity for the entire team to succinctly sync up on everyone’s individual progress (Burn down chart) against the iterated Sprint, feature, or story point estimations. In other words, the stand-up is a status update meeting, time-boxed to fifteen minutes with three basic questions.
These meetings give an overview of every individual’s task and of the team, thus allowing developers to share each other’s ideas whenever needed. Developers practicing Agile now have the ability to turn to their co-workers, share ideas, ask questions, or just listen to a group conversation and thus improve quality of the implementation.
Though agility has brought developers closer to the other teams, there is still a huge scope of improvement in terms of productivity. They need to hop around multiple tools to know development progress made by other users, collect associated tool specific information and then do their work which is very much counter-productive. Since most of the development teams and tools remain in silos, attaining cross-tool data transparency, maintaining process workflows and generating day-to-day team performance report becomes a thing of nightmare. Without process automation and seamless data flow across tool and technology boundaries, it is difficult to stay up-to-date on recurring development changes and therefore, release frequent ‘Builds’ in a shorter span of time – the essence of being Agile.
The Life of an Agile Developer Made Easy With Kovair
Kovair ALM Studio along with its SOA-based ESB architected Omnibus integration platform allows organizations to solve the above-mentioned problems. Kovair Omnibus plug-ins for IDEs like Eclipse or Visual Studio enable developers to view and modify artifacts of different phases within their IDE. This eliminates the need of the developers to hop around different tools for information.
Kovair’s integration with popular code analysis tools like LDRA, FxCop, and SonarQube helps them to verify code quality before checking them into the SCM tools. Using the integration platform of Kovair, developers can also establish traceability across artifacts residing in different tools.
Kovair Plug-in allows usage of dynamic filtering and views which allow them to filter only those artifacts which are required. This increases the productivity of developers exponentially which is very important in agile methodology. The integration support through plug-ins facilitates them to work efficiently within their familiar IDE. It also saves a lot of training hours for developers which is otherwise required to learn different new tools.
Kovair Agile Solution – an integral part of the Kovair ALM Studio helps to track items within task board and storyboard over a 100% web-based interface. This removes the constraint of co-located teams in agile and converts the dream of making multi-geographical teams follow agile methodology into a reality. The intuitive and collaborative platform eases or solves the pain of the developers. It also facilitates organizations to maintain quality and predictability of a release in this world of agility.