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Clean Agile: most important changes

 
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Hello Robert,

What do you consider the most important changes over the past 10 years in the world of agile development?
How strongly has enterprises becoming cloud-oriented  affected it?
 
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@Al. what's the correlation between being agile and becoming cloud-oriented? I'm not seeing the connection...
 
Al Razor
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Junilu Lacar wrote:@Al. what's the correlation between being agile and becoming cloud-oriented? I'm not seeing the connection...



Are you trying to say that there is no change involved when your company goes from having their own servers to using, for example, Amazon cloud solutions?
Because it does affect everything: it lowers infrastructure risks but requires you to change your CI/CD pipelines (take into consideration solutions used by your cloud provider), increases your dependency on DevOPs, forces your developers to keep their knowledge updated, etc.
 
Junilu Lacar
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I'm trying to say exactly what I asked: what's the connection between a change like going to the cloud and agility? Change is always there. Enterprises migrate to new technologies all the time, developers have to learn and adapt to new technologies all the time. How is moving to the cloud any different from say moving from DB2 to Oracle or from WAS to Nginx or Node, or Maven to Gradle, or technology stack X to technology stack Y. What do you see is so special about moving to the cloud?

I do have the book, by the way, and there's but one glancing mention of "cloud" in it in Chapter 7 "Software Craftsmanship" written by Sandro Mancuso, who was also a guest author here in the past.
 
Junilu Lacar
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Here's the full paragraph from the book where "cloud" is mentioned:

Clean Agile wrote:Since 2008, a growing number of Software Craftsmanship communities and conferences are being organized all over the world, attracting tens of thousands of developers. While Agile communities have an emphasis on the people and process side of software projects, the Craftsmanship communities focus more on the technical side. They have been key in promoting XP, and many other technical practices to many developers and companies around the world. It is through Software Craftsmanship communities that many developers are learning TDD, Continuous Integration, Pair Programming, Simple Design, SOLID principles, Clean Code, and Refactoring. They are also learning how to architect systems using microservices, how to automate their deployment pipelines, and how to migrate their systems to the cloud. They are learning different programming languages and paradigms. They are learning new technologies and different ways to test and maintain their applications. Developers in the Craftsmanship community are creating safe and friendly spaces where they can meet like-minded people and talk about their profession.

 
Al Razor
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Junilu Lacar wrote:I'm trying to say exactly what I asked: what's the connection between a change like going to the cloud and agility? Change is always there. Enterprises migrate to new technologies all the time, developers have to learn and adapt to new technologies all the time. How is moving to the cloud any different from say moving from DB2 to Oracle or from WAS to Nginx or Node, or Maven to Gradle, or technology stack X to technology stack Y. What do you see is so special about moving to the cloud?

I do have the book, by the way, and there's but one glancing mention of "cloud" in it in Chapter 7 "Software Craftsmanship" written by Sandro Mancuso, who was also a guest author here in the past.



You can't seriously compare moving to cloud to a change of one of the technologies at the very least because it affects your whole infrastructure.
Quite surprising to see that book almost doesn't cover it.

I think this quote from https://www.theguardian.com/deloitte-public-sector-in-a-digital-world/2020/apr/06/the-switch-to-cloud-how-public-services-are-becoming-more-agile-and-innovative nicely outlines some of the points:

Moving to the cloud not only saves time on purchasing and managing physical environments, it also opens up access to a suite of software on the internet as a service. It is far quicker to amend these to an organisation’s requirements, rather than have software written from scratch. “Traditional procurement and development processes could take several months, by which time an organisation’s needs may have moved on,” Appleton-Norman explains.

By moving to the cloud, Appleton-Norman has found that Deloitte’s public sector clients are able to embrace the pioneering attitude found at exciting startups where new ideas can be tested at breakneck speed.

“The cloud empowers companies to be part of the new wave of fail-fast, agile development,” she says. “With the cloud you can leverage the necessary storage capacity very quickly and there are usually software packages you can try out and adapt that already work on that platform. The real beauty for organisations is that the technology enables them to get pilot projects set up really quickly. If they work, it’s great, if they don’t, they can be shut down immediately with no extra expense incurred.”

 
Junilu Lacar
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To me, it's not about moving to the cloud specifically that has some unique effect on agility. It's any new technology in general. In recent years we've gone through various cycles of adopting SOA (service-oriented architectures), NoSQL, microservices architecture, cloud, and who knows what next. Many engineers are quick to focus on learning these bright and shiny new toys (one architect I know pulled in Scala, Akka, RabbitMQ, Node, Kafka, and a few other technologies into a single project! -- I called it "resume-driven architecture") but fail to stay grounded in the fundamentals, the other things mentioned in that paragraph I cited. I would say that 85% (conservatively) of developers out there still don't know or practice TDD regularly or effectively. To me, it's ignorance (sometimes willful, sometimes not) of some of these basic technical practices that prevent most developers and teams from becoming more agile.
 
Junilu Lacar
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Al Razor wrote:Quite surprising to see that book almost doesn't cover it.


That's quite the understatement considering the single occurrence of the word "cloud" in the book is buried in that one paragraph I quoted.

I think this quote from https://www.theguardian.com/deloitte-public-sector-in-a-digital-world/2020/apr/06/the-switch-to-cloud-how-public-services-are-becoming-more-agile-and-innovative nicely outlines some of the points:


And therein lies the difference, I think, in the idea of agility that Bob writes about in the book and the kind of agility you seem to be thinking about. But let's wait for Bob to chime in on this, maybe I've got it all wrong, which wouldn't be at all surprising.
 
Junilu Lacar
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Al Razor wrote:You can't seriously compare moving to cloud to a change of one of the technologies at the very least because it affects your whole infrastructure.

In an enterprise where thousands (yes, that many) of different applications are deployed on a worldwide network of servers in various data centers, even upgrading from one version of a server platform to the a new version can be quite the undertaking. In one company I worked for, it would take at least a year of preparation and coordination. In one company I've consulted for, they're still a ways away in their now years-long effort to move off of their mainframe. There are a lot of things getting in their way, not the least of which is the huge amount of technical debt (translated, per Ward Cunningham's definition, to "lack of understanding") in their current mainframe systems.
 
Al Razor
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Junilu Lacar wrote:

Al Razor wrote:Quite surprising to see that book almost doesn't cover it.


That's quite the understatement considering the single occurrence of the word "cloud" in the book is buried in that one paragraph I quoted.

I think this quote from https://www.theguardian.com/deloitte-public-sector-in-a-digital-world/2020/apr/06/the-switch-to-cloud-how-public-services-are-becoming-more-agile-and-innovative nicely outlines some of the points:


And therein lies the difference, I think, in the idea of agility that Bob writes about in the book and the kind of agility you seem to be thinking about. But let's wait for Bob to chime in on this, maybe I've got it all wrong, which wouldn't be at all surprising.



I was sarcastic about almost  

Yeah, this might be different kind of agility.

Junilu Lacar wrote:

Al Razor wrote:You can't seriously compare moving to cloud to a change of one of the technologies at the very least because it affects your whole infrastructure.

In an enterprise where thousands (yes, that many) of different applications are deployed on a worldwide network of servers in various data centers, even upgrading from one version of a server platform to the a new version can be quite the undertaking. In one company I worked for, it would take at least a year of preparation and coordination. In one company I've consulted for, they're still a ways away in their now years-long effort to move off of their mainframe. There are a lot of things getting in their way, not the least of which is the huge amount of technical debt (translated, per Ward Cunningham's definition, to "lack of understanding") in their current mainframe systems.



I work in an enterprise like that and this company moved to cloud (AWS) a few years ago. I've seen how this change affected more than just technical side of things. This is the reason why I mentioned it in my original message.
 
Junilu Lacar
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Al Razor wrote:I work in an enterprise like that and this company moved to cloud (AWS) a few years ago. I've seen how this change affected more than just technical side of things. This is the reason why I mentioned it in my original message.


Maybe mentioning that then could have brought us to this point much earlier. Were the effects of the change for the better or worse? What were some of those effects, specifically?
 
Al Razor
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Junilu Lacar wrote:

Al Razor wrote:I work in an enterprise like that and this company moved to cloud (AWS) a few years ago. I've seen how this change affected more than just technical side of things. This is the reason why I mentioned it in my original message.


Maybe mentioning that then could have brought us to this point much earlier. Were the effects of the change for the better or worse? What were some of those effects, specifically?



Overall this was a positive change that provided a necessary performance boost, allowed the company to experiment more (to try some new projects), and also lead to decomposition of a few monoliths into smaller services. I think the main problem is that the initial investment is quite costly and takes a lot of time as it involves not just the moving of your software into the cloud but also requires you to ensure that your developers know this technology and can use it efficiently (for a lot of them clouds were a new technology).
 
Junilu Lacar
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Yeah, I think the tack that Bob takes in this new book is somewhat orthogonal to what you're trying to get at. Here an excerpt from book's preface:

Uncle Bob wrote:What you are about to read are my personal recollections, observations, and opinions about my 20-year involvement with Agile—nothing more, nothing less. ... you should not think of this book as a scholarly work. It may be better to think of it as a memoir—the grumblings of a curmudgeon telling all those new-fangled Agile kids to get off his lawn.


If I were to summarize, it's a reminder of where this whole Agile movement came from in the first place.

It's probably more aligned with some of the sentiments in articles like these:
Agile's Early Evangelists Wouldn't Mind Watching It Die
Agile is Dead
The State of Agile Software in 2018
 
Al Razor
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Junilu, yeah, it seems to be more about classic agile, more about foundations. Thanks.
 
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Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop
https://coderanch.com/wiki/718759/books/Building-World-Backyard-Paul-Wheaton
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