Friday, August 29, 2008

Agile, where to start?

Awhile back I was in a conversation online about how to learn more about agile, especially when contrasting it with the waterfall approach. Here is what I gave that person back then. With more time, I'd probably refactor this list heavily to improve it, but for something I whipped out in 10 minutes I think it is high value. Maybe it will help you. (if you have your own good resources, then add them in the comments)

Start with these basics:

  1. look up the following terms on wikipedia and hope that nobody spammed the posts recently: Agile, XP, Scrum, Crystal, FDD, Lean Development, DSDM, Kanban, Toyota Lean development.
  2. contrast this with wikipedia searches on Waterfall, Gant, PMBOK, PMI, ISO 9000, CMM, Six Sigma, SDLC, RUP, RAD.
  3. look for the similarities and differences.

Many people might shun me for sending you to wikipedia, but it’s a generic overview. This baseline will help you build up.

Then go look at the following for the real thing-

  3. go to the agile 2007 and 2008 conference websites to see presentation topics, review material, or get an idea of the leaders in the industry (I’m going to Toronto next week for Agile ‘08!)
  4. start looking for books by the best in the business: Schwaber, Beck, Linda Rising, Alistair Cockburn, Bob Martin, (or anyone who signed the original manifesto).
  5. look for agile groups in your area, look at the agile alliance website, become a member
  6. google video has postings with some presentations that are great by some of the best
  7. look at the list of blogs I show on the sidebar
  8. go to vendor sites like VersionOne, Rally Software, Danube to look through their blogs and community boards.
  9. keep trying, learning, googling

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