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Don’t Drink The Kool-Aid!

If there is one subject that is sure to get me philosophizing (is that a word?) or writing it’s Agile.  As I have stated publically (a number of times and in many forums) I think Agile is a cult – almost a religion.  Notice that I said “I think…”  

It’s not the process that I disagree with, it’s the motives and actions of the “true believers”.   Like most cults, if anyone dares to have a different opinion or refuses to drink the Agile Kool-Aid, the true-believers will rally their masses and crucify you for having the audacity to have an opinion that challenges their beliefs.  Don’t get me wrong – I like Agile.  It’s a great process.  It works well in SOME, very narrowly defined, situations.  NOT every situation!

But that’s OK.  you are entitled to your opinion, and although I may not share it, I respect your point of view.  Sadly – like most religions – while I repect their opinions – the true believers have no respect for mine. 

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.  Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.


  1. When someone tells me there is only one right answer, I’m immediately ready to prove them wrong. As much as I can see the benefits of Agile, I’d argue with anyone that claimed it was best in every situation.

    One of my many “things I want to write an article about” ideas is the process for picking a software methodology. I’m guessing there is some white-paper, book, or article out there somewhere already, but I haven’t found it yet. I’m just thinking off the top of my head here and fairly new with the whole ‘agile thing’ myself, but the factors I’m thinking that help you pick your methodology would include:

    – size of the project (smaller projects cater more to Agile, I’d think, because the smaller the team, the easier to collaborate)

    – compliance / regulations (some government projects may require documentation and processes that are not always present with Agile)

    – risk of project (high risk, life-and-death type projects require more rigor and discipline than low risk)

    – existing processes, tools, methodologies, team expertise – (There’s always a learning curve and pain involved in changing the way things have been done… Change is good, but might want to take baby steps, depending on the criticality of the project.)

    – Team mindsets (Is the team excited about trying agile? It seems it would be a lot more effective if there was buy-in rather than mandate.)

    As for the differences of opinion… hey, I think the most controversial opinions are the most interesting. Going along with the crowd will not get you noticed. You got to stand up for your beliefs and not get sucked into drinking the Kool-aid.

  2. Dave says:

    Well said Yvette! You have been offered the Kool-Aid and turned it down. Skepticism is a great tester trait. I’m proud of you! You have earned a position on the Pirate Tester crew. Welcome aboard!

  3. […] some that speak out against Agile. Software pro, blogger and self-proclaimed software entomologist Dave Whalen makes no secret of his feeling that the Agile movement can be like a cult. On his blog, Whalan […]

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