Learning new digital skills can feel intimidating. There are so many terms to get to grips with that it’s easy to be put off.

But we at Code Nation believe that great tech talent can come from anywhere and learning these skills should be accessible to all. So we’re here to break down some of the concepts you may be struggling with.

First up… agile software development

What is agile software development?

Agile is a way of managing programming work. It’s popular amongst software developers and project managers because it breaks large tasks down into more manageable chunks and anticipates the need for flexibility; something many developers know all-too-well is crucial.

Rather than developers working amongst themselves in an isolated group to complete an application, Agile encourages collaboration throughout the development process. Designers, developers, project managers, copywriters and testing teams could all be involved in this process.

The main aim is to complete the application in stages, which are often referred to as iterations or sprints. At the end of each stage (which can last up to four weeks), the goal is to have a certain key task (or tasks) complete, and in some cases,

What is the history of agile software development?

Agile software development isn’t particularly new; it was formally launched in 2001, after 17 technologists drafted the ‘Agile Manifesto.’

There are 12 principles that make up the Agile Manifesto (which can be read in detail here) and they represent a dedication to:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Before Agile, there was the waterfall methodology, which was a gold standard for software development. However, it was quite rigid and took a linear approach that many found unworkable. While waterfall is still used by some, many now prefer Agile.

What are the benefits of agile software development?

Using the Agile approach to software development delivers a range of benefits. Agile brings everyone involved in the project together which means that there’s a greater sense of collaboration.

With everyone working together, feedback can be gathered more effectively and a wider range of opinions on what it should achieve and how it should achieve it can be taken into consideration.

In turn, this helps boost morale. Everyone on the team feels like they have a role to play and that their voice can be heard. Also, they feel like individuals, who can innovate, be creative and express themselves within the wider whole.

Most crucially of all is the greater sense of quality control. As agile allows projects to be broken down into small chunks that have clear end-of-sprint reviews, the person leading the project can identify minor problems before they snowball into something serious.

The leader (sometimes referred to as a scrum master) can also monitor how the team is performing and improve processes and workflows to increase efficiency.

The end result is a great product developed by a happy and productive team.

Why is it important to learn agile software development?

Agile is a highly popular way of working and most tech-based companies use it. Anyone looking for a job in the industry should understand it and be able to work within it if they’re going to thrive in their role.

Don’t just take our word for it. This is what we were told by our partner businesses (who we call Pledgers). They feed into our curriculum, so when they said they value employees who are well-versed in agile, we listened and included it in our Master: Coding curriculum.

As a result, all of our Master: Coding graduates complete our course with more than just technical skills. They get the commercial skills businesses need to hit the ground running and become high value, well-rounded employees.

Conclusion

Agile is more than just a way of working; it’s the way of working.

By allowing projects to be completed in small, manageable chunks, the agile methodology creates a better team culture and a higher quality of end product.

With many businesses adopting it, technical professionals who know how it works and can operate within it will stand a better chance of getting the job they want than those who don’t.

You can find out more about Code Nation and check out our classrooms in person by attending one of our open evenings.

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