Letters from Readers

Readers React: Agile Development, Design with Mono for Android

In a recent blog post, "Is Agile Really a 'Developer Rebellion Against Unwanted Tasks'?", Data Driver blogger David Ramel wrote about the mixed reaction from developers to his article about a controversial report on Agile software development from analyst firm Voke Inc. "Many people still seem unclear as to what Agile actually is," he observed. Several readers agreed, and some didn't. Here's a sampling of their responses.

I'm in my second position that claimed to be using "Agile." My experience has been that Agile is an excuse to not think things through and not document requirements. My current boss says things like, "My ideas are lumps of clay ... they're not fully formed." Yeah, thanks a lot, Agile, for making me do all the design and run around getting feedback from all the stakeholders on how something should actually function. I'm not saying you need to define things down to the smallest detail, but a little up-front thought and architecture goes a long way toward making better code and better products in the long run.

Posted Online

I'm really surprised by the report and lack of consensus among the developer crowd. To me it's bad news -- the level of general ignorance goes up, and people simply don't read anything anymore. I'll insist that reading a Wikipedia definition is enough to understand on a basic level the difference between an Agile and a non-Agile way of developing software. Agile is the result of decades of software development experience by a myriad of programmers. Many of its premises are not new and are proven by hard facts. So the real problems, I think, are ignorance, inability to change and fear of failure.

Yuri Sokolovski
Posted Online

New Designer for Android
Mono for Android columnist Wallace McClure took the new Xamarin Designer for Android for a spin and offered some tips in his online column, "Xamarin Designer for Android". Readers welcomed the addition of a design surface.

Yes, yes and yes! I find I'm constantly frustrated by overly feature-rich toolsets that don't explain a damn thing. Then they wonder why adoption is so low, especially by new coders. A designer does a great service in bridging the gap between toolset and coder knowledge. Why all tools don't include it, I will never understand.

Posted Online

Great article -- I think this really helps reduce the barrier to entry over porting .NET code to the Mono/Android platform. Thanks for this -- I didn't know it existed.


About the Author

This story was written or compiled based on feedback from the readers of Visual Studio Magazine.

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Ah, its because nobody really does Agile anyway - they do "Scrum" or similar, which are system designed to add more process than the old ways but under a guise of 'new and fast', when really its just an excuse to sell training. Look at the principles of the agile manifesto - its about productivity, not scrums. Its about what works for your team, not top-down imposition of story planning and management. I see a lot of teams that say "lets move to 3 week iterations" only to be told no, that's not the way it works. (when the team has easily identified that the 2 week iteration has 2 days of planning, 1 day of demo, 1 day of setting up the demo, 1 day of grooming for the next iteration.. and 3 days left over for actually doing work) One thing you can do to fix the current "agile" systems is to build a wall between the dev/test and the PM/BA groups - one throws tasks over the wall, and the other throws updated solutions back. Neither side need to slow the other side down in this case and both will be happier.

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 Jack Zoloft dose

Yeah, thanks a lot, Agile, for making me do all the design and run around getting feedback from all the stakeholders on how something should actually function.

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