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How hard is it to learn Agile, as a developer?

I'm in the job market, and everyone wants to know if you have experience in an agile environment. I can't legitimately say yes, but I am pretty agile, I can juggle multiple balls in the air, I've done rapid development, and I've read the book on Agile. Hit the still makes it a little hard to pass muster from the recruiter and or the hiring manager. So how long would it take to come up to speed in a Agile environment that was run well? I don't mean to minimize the importance of agile, but it just seems as a developer, one could fit in pretty easily without having a certification or a whole lot of experience in it.
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Senior Developer
"Agile" is imho a mind set.

Otherwise it's often used synonymous for agile software development as a process. Here different process models exist, like SCRUM. Each model requires some time to adopt.

But they have often a subset of methods (agile practices) in common.

Thus "learning" agile is not really possible, cause you need to practice those methods.

So, read some books about it, imho there it's also possible to get some SCRUM certificates, which you can add to your CV.
Gadsden ConsultingIT Specialist



great, just what I was looking for.

but - with some aptitude for flexibility and familiarity with the practice, is it that difficult to jump in to an Agile environment and be effective (as a developer), with no prior direct experience ? It's in most of the job postings, and imo it's nothing that a good developer couldn't pick up quickly.
Yes a flexible developer can without a doubt jump into an "agile" environment and quickly pick up the processes.

Almost everyone I know these days is doing some form of "agile" and the key there is "some form".  It's not actually a clear standard.  I think these days it really means "not waterfall" - so some form of cyclical development organized by scrums and 2-week (or similar) sprints with something delivered (i.e. workable) at the end of the sprint.

Beyond that there's a lot of variation.  The hard-core folks are doing full on TDD (writing units tests ahead of writing code), others are doing pair programming (2 people sitting at one computer together), but in my experience those are the exceptions, rather than the rule.

More generally it's just about how software is built - working in a small increment, completely finishing a new element (to the point that it's shippable) and then re-planning for the next bit sized piece of work.  Assuming you think you could work like that (and really, who couldn't) you'll be fine.  You certainly don't need any type of certificate or training - that's really designed for people who are going to implement it at a company that doesn't use agile methods today.

You'll be fine,

Gadsden ConsultingIT Specialist


dpearson, excellent as well, also right on the money, and confirmed my perspective.

>>2 people sitting at one computer together
- can't get my head around this . . . collaboration is good and necessary, but this is a bit much, imo.

>>You'll be fine,
- that's what I figured, but it's on a fair number of job postings, so you have to dance around this with the recruiters and the hiring managers.
Gadsden ConsultingIT Specialist


thanks, just what I was looking for.