Agile SCM - Review of 2008 and Predictions for 2009


providing feedback and contributions will help Qt remain a cutting edge, robust UI and application framework.

It seems that Nokia values the above over the license revenues they were getting from selling Qt commercially.

The distributed open source version control tools (DVCSs such as Git, Mercurial, Bazaar, Darcs etc) all continued to grow in 2008. The DVCS crew occasionally took swipes at the "antiquated" centralized model (e.g. Linus' infamous "Subversion users are brain dead" comment) and yet they are addressing different requirements.

Companies have different needs than open source projects, particularly around security, traceability and co-ordination that mean a DVCS is unlikely to be the right choice.

For us, the major importance of the rise of DVCSs is not that there are disagreements about how version control should be done, but instead that lots of developers are actively discussing their tools, thinking about them and learning about all the relevant issues.

We have long said that CM becomes much more the responsibility of everyone in (successful) Agile teams (although there will continue to be a role for CM specialists), and there is now a new generation of developers who are actively engaged in learning about and developing new tools and understanding in this arena.

This is good news for the whole industry!

From Sexy Builds to Staged Continuous Integration
We were right last year, and build processes continue to be seen as a key to agility. SCM and Release Engineering will become more development team focused.

Continuous Integration is evolving into Staged Continuous Integration which has become a lot more visible. Tools to automate & scale CI appear to have spent even more marketing $$$ (and webinars) in the past year, as well as adding CI-related features on existing tools (e.g., pre-flight builds for Electric Cloud).

Other Predictions from Last Year
Regarding Agile 2.0 and Post-Agile , we were on the right track, but perhaps not 100% on target. A major trend this year seems to have been Scaling Agile adoption into major companies and/or large projects (witness books by Leffingwell, focus of Rally Webinars, Larman's latest book, and forthcoming books on Scaling (and Leading) Agile by Mike Cohn, Alan Shalloway, and Mary Poppendieck, and a book on Lean Architecture (" Practical Agile Production ") by James Coplien.

Regarding the "Agile Backlash" we mentioned last year,as adoption and scaling increased, so has the resistance to and resentment of such changes. We are also hearing more about Agile failures, although most often failed adoption or poor/superficial adoption. James Shore's blog on "The Decline and Fall of Agile " generated much discussion. As suggested by others, this may simply be a sign of Agile methods being in the "Trough of Disillusionment"phaseof the Gartner Hype Cycle. There continue to be no silver bullets and yet Agile approaches have been and continue to be tremendously successful. Yet you shouldn't leap on the band wagon blindly - be aware of traps and pitfalls, and continue to apply common sense.

ITIL V3 continues to gain traction and management mind share and we expect that to continue. Some of the resistance to ITIL V3 over V2 has dissipated, and there is a greater understanding of the benefits of the cohesion and coverage of the new set of books. Service Transition (including release and deployment) success stories using ITIL are being reported at conferences and events.

CM for Cloud Computing
"Cloud Computing" really started to gain traction during last year, and the trend looks like it will be only increasing. A good article on Infoq " Will Cloud-based Multi-Enterprise Information Systems Replace Extranets? " sets the scene.

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