As you're planning your software development project and researching different development firms, you might find yourself asking, "what is agile software development?" Agile web development is a unique, systemized approach to development that focuses heavily on quickly building and continually iterating on functional software.
At Brain Box, we're experts in agile software development. Read through this easy-to-understand guide to make sense agile web development in under ten minutes.
Agile web development is a collection of practices, procedures and values that make up a heavily practiced approach to software development. Agile relies on the iterative release of code; rather than building software for months, leading up to a single release date, agile web development involves constant – sometimes even weekly – code delivery.
To facilitate the regular shipment of quality code, our agile web developers use a shared set of processes to continually iterate without sacrificing quality.
Agile web development as a practice can vary from team to team, but generally it includes several core parts that are a part of every agile software development project. Here are the key agile web development processes we use to deliver quality code fast.
Sprints are a short period of time, usually one to four weeks, that our agile software developers operate within. The goal for each sprint is to accomplish a certain number of tasks and ship code at the end of the sprint. After each sprint, we track velocity to measure how much work was accomplished in that given sprint. We then compare velocity from week to week to determine how to maximize productivity within a single sprint.
Agile web development teams organize development tasks in features. Each feature has a single objective, and is usually written as a user or job story – a description of the task at hand in natural, simple language that's written from the perspective of the end user. Writing feature this way keeps the end user central to each and every task within a project.
At Brain Box, this means we sit down at the beginning of a sprint to scope features, assigning a level of difficulty and approximate time commitment for each feature. We then dole out those features based on how much work a single developer can manage within one sprint.
Agile development projects require near constant communication across a team. This helps our entire team easily adjust to changes in project scope as the project evolves over time. At Brain Box, we accomplish this through daily scrum – a very short meeting wherein each team member gives a status update. These meetings are led by a scrum master, usually a product manager or project manager, who keeps meetings on track and helps identify any blockers that are preventing our web developers from completing their features.
Agile software development requires a cyclical process to iterate and deliver code regularly. This means developers don't wait until designs are finalized to begin coding. Instead, they work closely with our designers to build in tandem with the design process. This collaborative approach empowers efficiency, speed, and – as the name suggests – agility throughout the project.
Agile software development relies on a core set of values that teams practice during sprints. While each team's approach to agile may differ, these core principles are at the heart of every Brain Box agile development project.
Agile software development hinges on the constant delivery of functional code. This is the top priority for an agile project; rather than delivering one batch of code after several months, these iterative sprints help teams to ship code on a regular basis.
Agile processes acknowledge the fact that as a project evolves, development requirements will change. This approach to software development allows for project changes, even when developers are knee-deep in the project.
In order to continually ship code, agile developers are in near constant communication with each other, designers and project managers. This helps everyone stay on track and prevents developers from being blocked when completing a task.
Agile software development is, by design, decentralized. This means every person on a team must be able to be trusted and relied upon to do their job well with minimal supervision. At Brain Box, we take this responsibility seriously, hiring only the best agile developers to work on our teams.
Agile software development prioritizes quality, keeping in mind that there will never be an ideal time to go back and fix a major issue in the code. This attention to detail and quality eliminates the build up of technical debt – bad code that creates a to-do list of fixes that need to be addressed at a later date.
The speed of agile web development projects doesn't allow for extra fluff; only the work that truly matters to a project can be done. This means agile projects tend to minimize the importance of verbose documentation, overcomplicated processes and layered systems of hierarchy. These complex project components can slow down workflow and prevent developers from reaching their goals.
As you're strategizing the best approach to building your software, consider leveraging the many benefits of agile web development. We'd love to hear about your project and discuss how our experienced agile development team can make your vision a reality. Contact us to talk to our team today.
Some of the management tools that can be used alongside Agile/Lean Management include Atlassian Jira, Microsoft Azure, VersionOne, LeanKit, and many others. Since the Disciplined Agile tool kit supports several delivery life cycles, tools such as Jira, Azure, VersionOne, and other tools that support Scrum by definition also support the Disciplined Agile Delivery life cycle.
Scrum, a lightweight process framework for Agile development, is a subset of Agile. A Scrum process is different from other agile processes by specific practices and concepts. Scrum is often used in managing complex software and product development by using iterative and incremental practices.
Since Scrum is used to manage complex software and product development in a company, it significantly increases productivity and improves the overall processes. Some of the specific benefits of Scrum include increased quality of deliverables, adaptability to change, better estimates while spending less time creating them, and better control of the project schedule and state.