As I was reading this excellent article from Matt Heusser, I couldn’t refrain from chuckling as I could relate a lot from what I was reading as an ex-software engineer, tester and now in a management position. As I’ve experienced most aspect of the spectrum, I can claim some objectivity and wanted to add my 2 cents to the article.
This article is not about the silver bullet around quality metrics you’ve been looking for ! Whether it exists or not is a vast debate. I’ve been writing about metrics in the past. Especially for important metrics to track when you’re software is out the door. I’m still scratching my head to find key relevant metrics to track during the course of a given project. I’ve been tracking a lot during the course of my career but they’ve never satisfied me fully.
If you had some doubt about SCRUM and Agile development getting real in the software development world, here is an interesting chart showing the evolution of agile and SCRUM related job for the past 4 years. A picture is worth a thousand words and I guess this one clearly demonstrate a clear growing trend. We’re part of that trend as my software organization is transitioning to SCRUM. I’m taking my green pill everyday !
The term technical debt was first introduced by Ward
Cunningham and is a metaphor to describe the consequences of quick and dirty software architecture and development. It is not necessary a bad thing to fall into technical debt as long as you’re doing a good job at understanding how you’re going to pay it in the future. A quick parallel with financial debt can be made easily: It might be a good idea to get a student loan to get a proper education, but you better plan carefully you repayment if you don’t want to end up in a financial nightmare. Same with software: You might want to cut corners to deliver a cutting edge new feature ahead of the competition which will generate large revenue, but you better plan carefully to polish your code if you don’t want to end up in maintenance nightmare.
3 years ago I had to deal with all kind of processes: The no-process strategy (my favorite .. sight), heavy waterfall (I’m still soaked by that one …), home grown iterative process etc. Scrum was definitely only discussed during a good Rugby game.