Agile Software Development

Agile Software Development

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Agile software development refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. It encourages flexible responses to change and promotes adaptive planning.

Agile software development emerged as a reaction against traditional ‘waterfall’ methodologies, which are heavily structured and sequential, progressing from one stage to the next. In contrast, Agile development embraces change and uncertainty, recognizing that customer requirements often evolve over time and that software should be developed in a way that can accommodate these changes.

The Agile Manifesto, formulated in 2001, summarizes the philosophy of Agile development. Its core values include:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
  4. Responding to change over following a plan.

These principles promote a more humanistic, collaborative approach to software development. Agile teams typically work in short iterations or ‘sprints’, typically lasting 1-4 weeks, at the end of which a potentially shippable product increment is delivered. This allows for frequent inspection, adaptation, and feedback to ensure that the product aligns with customer needs.

There are several Agile methodologies, including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and Extreme Programming (XP), each with its own specific practices, but all sharing the common Agile values and principles. The Agile approach has become widely adopted in the software industry due to its focus on customer satisfaction, flexibility, and continual improvement.

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