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Agile Computing

Agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development. It helps teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches because it encourages teams to be inherently flexible, well-organized, and capable of responding to change.

Back in 2001 the Agile Manifesto was first published by Kent Beck, Mike Beedle, Arie van Bennekum, Alistair Cockburn, Ward Cunningham, Martin Fowler, James Grenning, Jim Highsmith, Andrew Hunt, Ron Jeffries, Jon Kern, Brian Marick, Robert C. Martin, Steve Mellor, Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland and Dave Thomas - the original developers of the Agile Software methodology.

It laid out much needed principles for more effective teamwork.

The Twelve Principles behind the Agile Manifesto


Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.


Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.


Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.


Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.


Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.


The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.


Working software is the primary measure of progress.


Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.


Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.


Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential.


The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.


At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

Many 'agile frameworks' have emerged over the past 20 years such as scrum and Extreme Programming (XP) (both favoured by software development teams), kanban ( most used in service-oriented teams like IT or human resources) and lean.

But each framework embodies the core principles of Agile:

frequent iteration

continuous learning

high quality

But then adds its own 'flavour' to the mix. Some teams adopt 'agile rituals' (regular stand-ups, retros, backlogs, etc.), while others create new agile practices. For example agile marketing teams who adhere to the Agile Marketing Manifesto.

There are many examples on the web of how the Agile Manefesto has led to developments of codes of practice in different fields. But any developed codes have to be 'flexible' to fit within the Agile concept of teamwork - effectiveness is valued over adherence to doctrine. Companies that fix their practices in stone are not going to benefit from Agile.

Pair programming is an agile software development technique in which two programmers work together at one workstation.