Agile Roots, Agile Operations, & Agile Clouds, Agile Executive Podcast 003
After having some coffee here in Austin, Israel Gat and I braved the Texas heat a little while longer to record a conversation about the recent Agile Roots conference, how Agile has spread in recent years, and some of the potentials that cloud computing plus Agile might bring.
We go over the Agile Roots conference that Israel was currently at: one of the themes, Israel says, was a sort of retrospective on the Agile Manifesto (put out in 2001). Also, as Israel points out many times, there was a good mix of people that made the “hallwaycon” enjoyable. Part of this, it seems was due to the somewhat unconference-y feel of the event: while it had a formalized agenda, there was room for less structured, unconference-style sessions and discussions.
Based on this, I then ask Israel to summarize what his and other’s people take was on where Agile is today. In my words, it seems like Agile thinking has, largely, gone main-stream. In fact, as I chime in, large corporate development tool vendors like Microsoft with VisualStudio and IBM with the Rational line are bringing in and using significant Agile principals and practices.
Next, we get into the “Agile Operations” conversation folks from Reductive Labs have been having of late. Esp. when cloud computing technologies (like virtualization, automation, and SaaS-think) are brought into the operations side of the house, Agile principals seem especially well positioned to take advantage of cloud technologies. This gets us into a discussion of how cloud delivered software (SaaS, pretty much) might help free up some time and resources in the traditional software delivery process, primarily, by not having to support many different versions, but also (some what paradoxically to that) allowing bette customizations per customer.
From here, I lay out the theory that with cloud computing, there seems to be some efficiency gains that make it possible for smaller teams to develop and sell software instead of having to hook-up with larger software companies to get efficiencies of scale. While this discussion, as Israel gets to, has been happening a lot in the startup world (startups need less capital up-front to buy hardware and such, and thus, need less funding), it hasn’t been reflected on much in the plain old ISV world. Israel lays out an interesting “out source (most) everything” model for software companies.