February 19, 2018
What is Agile Software Development?
Thinking about working with a team to develop a new piece of software? Software development is an opportunity for teams to come together, collaborate on projects, and build a usable and adaptable piece of technology that will withstand the test of time—all thanks to agile development.
Changing the Rules
Agile development is a software development practice that changes the rules of custom software development. While software development in the 1980s and ‘90s may have been a solitary endeavor, where developers sat alone in a room and coded a program until it was done, agile has broken up this very isolated process.
Unlike “waterfall” development of the late 20th century, agile development focuses on collaboration, adaptability, and usability. Developers no longer work alone, but in teams with other developers and even clients. Questions are asked, project boards are planned, and concerns are addressed immediately.
In addition, developers, knowing that requirements will evolve, build software to be more flexible. Each new piece of software is built on top of a previous version. This saves time and costs by eliminating the need for developers to start over every single time a change is requested.
Finally, while clients may once have taken a backseat in the software development process, now they have full control and work as partners alongside developers from beginning to end. They get to see the software’s real potential for themselves.
Such an efficient and collaborative effort is not one any software developer may have imagined as little as twenty years ago.
Transforming the Iron Triangle
In software development, there’s what’s known as the “Iron Triangle.” This triad consists of the adjectives fast, cheap, and good.
Before the onset of agile development, only two of the three options—fast, cheap, or good—were obtainable. Software could be developed quickly and cheaply, but not be good. It could be high quality and low priced, but slowly developed. In short, if you wanted a piece of software, it would never be perfect.
However, agile development has transformed this concept forever. Software development can now be quick, efficient, and cheap. Collaboration lends itself to more planning. Development is a team effort, where issues can be addressed more efficiently and code can be written at greater speed. Adaptability means there are fewer features to revise and fixes to make, therefore lowering costs. Finally, developers work directly with clients, keeping them in mind and developing for their needs.
Agile has shown that the iron triangle may not be as tough as steel. In fact, good, cheap, and fast software is very possible.
Agile is changing the future of software development. So what can we expect in the industry moving forward?
- More businesses and organizations will opt for custom software. Because software development is simpler, cheaper, and faster than ever before, organizations would do well to choose custom solutions over canned ones. Off-the-shelf software doesn’t provide nearly as many benefits as a custom program designed just for your business.
- Software will advance. Think of all of the changes we’ve seen in technology just over the past five or ten years. A decade or so ago, AI technology like Alexa was unimaginable. Even seemingly simple apps, like Uber and Airbnb, would have seemed surprising and impossible back in 2000. Agile technology has expanded the boundaries of software development.
Agile’s name, meaning quick and nimble, is very fitting. In only a decade or so, it has changed the way we look at development and made it more accessible to wider groups of people. While the industry continues to evolve, agile software development doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.
If you’re looking for the perfect partner to start your own agile project with, reach out to our award-winning custom software development team. They’ll help you make the most of agile’s collaborative, adaptable, and usable framework.