If you are a new student of computer science or someone looking to switch their career to development – they need to understand the Agile Methodology that software development companies near me and them have adopted. In fact, every organization within the software industry is practicing agile software development to successfully cater to the growing demand.
In with Agile and out with Waterfall. There was a time where Waterfall was the widely used development model, taking each phase accordingly and not starting another once the previous is completed. Agile challenged the very foundations of waterfall and launched in 2001 with the following aims:
- Responding to change instead of following a plan like waterfall
- Customer/Stakeholder collaboration during development
- Software focused approach than extensive documentation
- Interactions within teams and individuals over hard and fast processes and tools
What is Agile Methodology?
It is a practice where development and testing run parallel. In addition to this, agile methodology promotes continuous iteration of development and testing.
Agile Model Includes:
- Has incremental and iterative approach to software design
- Customers are involved early on to look into their product, test it out, and make decision regarding any changes, additions, or subtractions of functionalities, design, so on and so forth
- Agile model is unstructured and focuses on quality and fast production compared to waterfall
- Agile process is broken into individual models for designers and developers to easily work on
- Errors and bugs are addressed during development as testing is done side-by-side and not after the entire development is done
- Iterative development process allows project to be executed in 2-4 weeks’ iterations
- Documentation takes a back seat, as the focus is more towards the development
- Every iterations undergoes testing before release. Regression testing is conducted every time a new function or feature is added
- User acceptance test is conducted at the end of every sprint
- Agile methodology promotes close collaborations and enhanced communications within teams of developers, testers, designers, project managers, business analysts, and last but not the least clients themselves. One big family working towards the end goal
Roles in Agile Methodology
Let’s discuss the roles involved in Agile methodology so you can have a better understanding of how this model works in modern software development.
As you know by now that agile process begins with the end-user in mind or the customer for better understanding. Usually we just create user personas and illustrate their roles and possible interactions with the software. This gives us an insight as a user rather than the creators of the product.
Who is the product owner? This person is responsible for defining the vision of the product and then work alongside the development team to bring it to life through a functional software product. Product owner is the voice of the customer and conveys the ideas and feedback regarding the product – called the product vision. In other words, they know the target audience, what pain points is the product resolving, and what customers would and would not want.
However, it isn’t as simple as just defining them. The product owner creates user stories to accurately describe everything in detail: which are what we discussed above, from defining the problem that you are solving to why the solution is important and what are the constraints, so on, and so forth.
These user stories once understood by all the respective team, is then taken to the next step. Now comes the main role of the:
Software Development Team
Since in agile, we are dealing with all roles within the software development team working in unison to bring a functional software product out in various iterations sprits. So Since there is database, business logic, and user interface being developed for a part of the iteration – every team needs to be on the same page, and this is why their constant collaboration and communications is important. These builds are being developed and pushed within weeks, so the frequency of work increases and so does the intensity of all roles within the software development team.
There are many agile frameworks that are being used by software development firms. As to which one they work on depends on their organization. The popular frameworks are as follows:
- eXtreme Programming (XP)
- Dynamic Systems Development Method (DDSM)
- Feature Driven Development (FDD)
- Adaptive Software Development (ASD)
- The Crystal Method
- Lean Software Development (LSD)
- Disciplined Agile (DA)
- Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)
- Rapid Application Development (RAD)
Since SCRUM is widely adopted and made use of by the software development companies around me, I thought to talk about that a little.
So what is SCRUM?
It is as we know, an agile development method that advocates working in smaller teams and empowers the development team by managing tasks, encouraging the team members to work on a problem and reflect on their losses and winnings to improve further.
In a nutshell, SCRUMS means continuous improvement which is also the main principle of Agile mindset. Now, taking a step further, we have a process flow of scrum testing, which is as follow:
- Every iteration of a scrum is called a SPRINT. A term you must have come across many times
- There is a product backlog, where all details are feeded in to obtain the product
- Teams focus and work on sprint backlog
- Daily work is checked by the team
- At the end of each sprint, a functional product is delivered completed with testing and user-acceptance testing as well
Within all this scrum processes there is a SCRUM MASTER. Who is this person? They are the pros of scrums within their teams. They are the coach of their team who not only guide their team members, but also the product owner, and the business itself on the scrum process. The scrum master has an in-depth understanding of the work that is being done and optimized the delivery flow for best end-results.
Agile methodology is the present and the future of modern software development.