Agile Predictions for 2011

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Summary:
What is your Agile weather report for 2011? Some have sunny Agile efforts ahead. Some are looking across the Agile landscape and into the clouds, some are looking to get introduced to agility, and others are considering strategies for Agile deployments. As we gaze in the horizon, what do we think will be hot in the Agile landscape and improve our working lives? What might be some of the latest shifts in the Agile industry in the upcoming year?

What is your Agile weather report for 2011? Some have sunny Agile efforts ahead. Some are looking across the Agile landscape and into the clouds, some are looking to get introduced to agility, and others are considering strategies for Agile deployments. As we gaze in the horizon, what do we think will be hot in the Agile landscape and improve our working lives? What might be some of the latest shifts in the Agile industry in the upcoming year?  

My theme of my Agile weather report will be “Sunny with a chance of Agility”. My predictions will focus on:

  • Job security with Agile credentials
  • More structure with Agile deployments
  • Agile Tooling goes ALM

Prediction #1: Job security with Agile credentials

I predict that we will see a significant growth in software engineering jobs that include an Agile element to them. In general, we are seeing a growth in the use of Agile methodologies and practices in the software industry. Many of the new positions are now mentioning Agile as one of the job requirements. The implication is that they are looking for people who have worked within an Agile context so that when they join the new company, they bring Agile experience.

While training can get you started, it’s the experience that companies are looking for. With that being said, some companies are realizing that there are a lot of pretenders out there and will look to understand if candidates really have practiced some form of Agile versus practicing a form of Fragile (e.g., fake Agile), ScrumBut (e.g., I’m doing Agile “but” not all of it), or a cowboy version that is really ad hoc.

My prediction is based on an examination of what positions are newly opening across the country. Here are a couple of data points reflective of the Boston Massachusetts area:

  • CareerBuilder.com had 92 posting in the last month with Agile listed as a requirement, while Monster.com lists 197 postings overall. These are both increases from the month before
  • During the December session of the Agile Bazaar, after the main speaker is finished presenting attendees can come up and advise the group of available positions within their respective companies. In this instance, there were 8 people who came up to inform us of available positions within their companies. Typically there are 2 or 3 people who come up to discuss their openings so this was an increase. And to make the message even more positive, several of the people didn’t just have one or two positions available, but over a dozen positions available. All the positions were looking for folks with some level of Agile experience.

In addition because the job market in the technology and software engineering sectors are heating up in general as we come out of the recession and companies are seeing value in applying Agile methods, we’ll see a marked increase of job openings requesting Agile experience.

Now what does this mean to a technology and software professional who has Agile credentials? I suggest that it means that they will have an increased level of job security within 2011 and those that are looking for a new job will have better odds of finding a position compared to those without Agile experience.

Prediction #2: More structure with Agile deployments

As product teams become more mature so do their Agile practices. While Agile has been utilized in large projects for several years now, it is still new to many. With that in mind, I expect to see more formality in deploying Agile. This is especially true since Agile is no longer a budding

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