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Agile Software Development II

Lightweight/Agile Software Development

My first post about Agile Software Development wasn’t really about what the title promised. It was actually a description of the software development method that’s at the other end of the spectrum, namely Heavyweight/Waterfall Software Development. I did it so that everyone reading my upcoming posts about Agile Software Development would know a little bit more about its opposite.

I strongly recommend that you first read my previous post before reading this one as it will put things in perspective and will also offer you some nice info on software development. But enough about that. In this second post I want to offer you a basic description of the agile software development methodology before putting this two head to head and seeing which one is better.

Lightweight/Agile Software Development

First and foremost, Agile software development is all about complete teamwork and excellent communication. Usually the programming team is a small one and works in a single larger office called a bullpen. This makes for seamless communication between members and a much faster and efficient exchange of ideas.
Another main characteristic of Agile Software Development is the that the project gets split into several smaller increments called iterations. Each one lasts between a week and a month and doesn’t require any prior planning. This might seem bad at first but it actually allows for excellent elasticity as decisions are made on the spot by the entire team. Sometimes clients are also involved in decision making so this makes for a perfect customizing tool also.
Again, the keyword here is “elasticity” and it is assured by the fact that nothing is “nailed down” from the start like it is with waterfall software development. If a new, better idea hatches, it can be integrated instantly in the creation process. More on this in my third post where we’re going to put these two methods head to head and talk about their advantages and disadvantages.