Brief and opinionated

I Think Developers Are Fed Up with Modern Agile and Its Many Issues

Following Modern Agile practices doesn’t make you a better developer.

Nicklas Millard
4 min readMay 21, 2023

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Image by Nicklas Millard

It feels like Modern Agile lost its focus on individual developer growth and improvement.

It is nearly three decades ago since Ken Schwaber and Jef Sutherland first introduced Scrum, and over two decades since Kent Beck introduced the then-novel Extreme Programming methodology. Surprisingly, we’re still struggling with largely the same problems in software development. The nature of our modern problems is in many ways the same as back then, though accompanied by an array of brand-new complexities that have emerged along the way.

Agile is palatable packaging for management’s sake so they can articulate what their employees are doing.

The Agile Manifesto had–and still has to this date–an incredible impact on software development. Developers got a discipline to call their own, a source of pride, and a fresh approach to their work. Focus shifted from daunting tasks, documentation, following rigid processes and strict deadlines, to more dynamism, and engaging hands-on work.

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Today, Agile has permeated everything we do. Management now swears to it as the one-and-only way of doing anything. Departments far remote from software development embrace it.

Consulting firms are delirious. They reap the benefits by developing their own proprietary agile frameworks, designed in a way that necessitates the client to engage even more consultants to fill various roles within their framework. It’s a strategic approach that capitalizes on the client’s commitment to following the framework. Is that a bad thing? Probably not. Many clients need the direction it gives, and knowledgeable consultants do hit the ground running, bringing value from day one.

Even speaking of other ways of working is looked upon with raised eyebrows and skepticism. As a consultant, if you don’t use “agile” to casually explain any type of work that you do, then nobody will hire you.

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Nicklas Millard

I mostly write to "future me" sharing what I learn and my opinion on software development practices. youtube.com/@nmillard | open for contracts in May 2024.