La Fabrick – Apps

Brief History and Timeline of Agile Development

Software development continues to evolve as the programming languages behind it evolve. The rationale behind the evolution was geared towards its improvement through better means of creating detailed and defined requirements, designing the architecture that would support the requirements, and to create it in a methodological manner. Although these needs were met, developers didn’t really feel that they were addressed at all in terms of dealing with rapid changing requirements.

By the late 1990s, the methods and processes of software development that had existed in the 80s were already considered as bureaucratic and slow. As a way to circumvent these heavyweight methods, a small group was formed in the mid 90’s that promoted innovative approaches to software development and enabled organizations to adapt to the changing requirements and technology. This was the time when they realized that embracing change and working around it was the way to implement a more improved development strategy and process. It was during this time where Agile software development was at its peak as a means to counter these heavyweight methods.

According to some reliable sources, it was sometime between February 11 and 13 of 2001where a group of 17 people met at the Snowbird Ski Resort in the Wascatch Mountains of Utah and formed the Agile Alliance. The Agile Alliance was formed by a select group of people that contributed to the development of Agile methodology. Among the founders were Alistair Cockburn, Bill Opdyke, Jennifer Stapleton, Arie van Bennekum, Jeff Sutherland, and Ken Schwaber.

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Worst Software Blunders Ever Reported

Computer programs were designed to reduce human errors in various applications, from the assembly line to bookkeeping and records keeping. Sadly, this is not always the case, as blunders often haunt either the program or the user, or both. Intertech.com has come up with a list of the worst computer software blunders. Take note, some of these blunders have occurred more than 10 years ago.

Hospital kills its patients on paper – In February of 2003, St. Mary’s Mercy Medical Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan was reported to have killed a total of 8,500 patients due to the software blunder. In reality, the patients who had their procedures done from October 25 to December 11 2002 were still alive and kicking. The glitch of the hospital’s system notified Social Security, patient’s insurance company, and the patients themselves that they were dead. Jennifer Camenga, spokesperson for the hospital, said “To us, this is really not a very big story. We’re not going to elaborate any more … It was a mapping error. That’s all we have to say about it.” Quite frankly, this kind of blunder would be an alarming one if this happened today.

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Benefits of using Agile Development

Agile development is a process of creating software through a small series of different tests with code before the correct formula is designed. Designers who use Agile development go through a lot of meetings prior to each step being carried out. A lot of designs, testing, and reports made are involved in the development and are important factors in the process. Without these, Agile development is just as mediocre as any other programming methodology. Agile development has been around for a decade and has benefited a lot of businesses that want to have their own customized software.

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What are these benefits?

  1. Clients are more satisfied because they are included in the development process – As mentioned earlier, meetings are held after every step prior to testing. These meetings allow clients to be more hands-on throughout the development process, so they are always updated with what’s happening and how the progress is. Throughout the meetings, clients are also asked for their input on what they want to include in the software, thus giving them more customization options as opposed to using traditional programming methodologies.
  2. The final outcome is perfect – A lot of testing and design is involved in the Agile development, which will take a long time to create the final outcome. Developers are making changes in the middle of the development, as opposed to some who implement them after the software is finished. This saves both clients and developers time when it comes to adding or removing features to the program. This also enables developers to change the internal structure of the code without changing the external behaviour of the software.
  3. Developers already know how to develop the program before they even start – Agile developers only need a basic idea of the software they are going to make before they start on the project. As mentioned, there is no need to wait for changes to be implemented because they are done in the middle of the development. The beginning stage of the development is merely laying the groundwork for the software. Clients and developers can add the layers throughout the development phase later on.
  4. Agile development is faster and saves money – Agile development lives up to its name. software programs created through Agile development are created faster, meaning clients have less money to shell out throughout the development process.
  5. Software created using Agile development have a bigger chance of being sold in the market – This is because the process of Agile development avoids the plateaus of other programming methodologies where the software is not used or sold because clients are dissatisfied. The latter doesn’t follow the same process as Agile development, so there are more errors and delays encountered after the final outcome. Agile development can give you a software that’s fully polished and functional.

Agile development has been around for close to a decade now and is considered as one of the best methodologies created. Some clients even testified to how compelling the benefits of Agile development are.