The Winter Getaway That Turned the Software World Upside Down

How a group of programming rebels started a global movemenT

Ken Schwaber—the cofounder of Scrum and founder of—says Waterfall “literally ruined our profession.” “It made it so people were viewed as resources rather than valuable participants.” With so much planning done upfront, employees became a mere cog in the wheel.

.. Waterfall “has gradually lost favor … because companies usually build better products if they can change specifications and designs, get feedback from customers, and continually test components as the products are evolving.”

.. Bob “Uncle Bob” Martin. Martin, an industry veteran and the founder of Uncle Bob Consulting, runs The Clean Code Blog

.. “When we compared how we did our work, we were just kind of astonished at the things that were the same.”“When we compared how we did our work, we were just kind of astonished at the things that were the same.”

.. Unlike other historical documents, the Agile Manifesto doesn’t declare truths self-evident. Rather, it compares: We value this over that.

.. Schwaber says the group did invite “a whole bunch of really pretty knowledgeable women” but that none showed. “They thought it would just be a carousing and smoking weekend,” Schwaber says. “They didn’t think we were going to do anything intellectual or productive.”

.. But it’s unclear whether women were, in fact, actually invited: A few of the framers tell me they vaguely remember some women being invited. Others don’t.

.. Unlike Waterfall, Agile emphasizes iterative development, or building software in pieces. Agile teams typically work in short cycles—which are called “sprints” in Scrum, today one of the most widely used forms of Agile—that usually last two weeks each.

.. Today’s software isn’t typically burned onto a CD-ROM and stocked on a store shelf; updates can be pushed to your laptop or smartphone remotely. This makes it easier to add features or fix bugs after releasing the product.

.. Despite discussions over whether the Manifesto itself should be amended, many of the original signers see the document as a historical—not a living—document. “It’s like a Declaration of Independence in U.S. history,” says Cockburn. “You don’t go back and rewrite that.”

..  “Now you can go to a conference, and there’s aisle after aisle of people who are selling you computer tools to run your process. And they say it’s Agile,” says Cunningham. He points to the first value of the Agile Manifesto. “It says, ‘Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.’ How did [Agile] become a process-and-tools business?”

.. The monetization of Agile aside ..

.. the “most annoying aspect right now” is that Agile “has been taken over by the project-management people,” leaving “the technical people and the technical ideas” behind.

..  Sutherland says he sees teams in Silicon Valley that claim to be Agile, but are “not delivering working product at the end of a short iteration.”