Charlie Audritsh just put up a short, interesting piece about agile development. His main point seems to be that he likes agile, and he is just one technical contributor in a larger organization, (specializing in performance testing), but he is going to try be as influential as possible.
I think it's great, and I've added his site to my blogroll.
My take on Agile is a little different than most. I don't think you *have* to have everyone in the same room, 100% customer availability, 100% pair programming, a big set of index cards, and so on.
Yes, in general, if an organization uses the practices well, I think they will be better off than with heavyweight methods. Still, in my book, those things are outward appearances - physical manifestations of an inner change in values. In other words, hopefully they demonstrate that the organization is choosing quick iterations and high-volume communication methods because it follows the principles and values of the agile manifesto.
Then again, it's possible that the organization is just practicing Cargo Cult Software Engineering.
In my mind, Agile isn't "Yes", or "No", it is "More Or Less." More important to me than practices 2, 3, and 4 on the Extreme Programming checklist are questions like "Does this organization respond to change? Can they make the tough decisions and live with the consequences?"
To me, the little poster and note that Charlie put up is one of the more mature decisions any individual technical contributor can make; and I'm not just saying that because I have one my cube that is signed "HoyZa." :-)
Schedule and Events
March 26-29, 2012, Software Test Professionals Conference, New Orleans
July, 14-15, 2012 - Test Coach Camp, San Jose, California
July, 16-18, 2012 - Conference for the Association for Software Testing (CAST 2012), San Jose, California
August 2012+ - At Liberty; available. Contact me by email: Matt.Heusser@gmail.com