Agile Software: Body of Knowledge

Agile Software: Body of Knowledge

Zaidoun Alzoabi (Martin Luther University, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-050-7.ch002
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The term Agile Method of software development was coined in the 2001.This approach is characterized with creativity, flexibility, adaptability, responsiveness, and human-centricity. Researchers have suggested that the complex, uncertain, and ever-changing environment is pushing developers to adopt agile methods rather than traditional software development. Agile methodologist claim that their Agile methods is the answer for the software engineering chaotic situation, in which projects are exceeding their time and budget limits, requirements are not fulfilled, and consequently ending up with unsatisfied customers. In this chapter we will explain agile methodology, its general characteristics, and quick description of the famous agile methods known in the industry and research.
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Agile Development History

On February 11-13, 2001, representatives from Extreme Programming, SCRUM, DSDM, Adaptive Software Development, Crystal, Feature-Driven Development, Pragmatic Programming, and others sympathetic to the need for an alternative to documentation driven, heavyweight software development processes, gathered at the Snowbird resort in Utah to form what is known now by the Agile Alliance.

However, this was just to coin the name Agile, not to say that agile methodologies were born at that time. Several agile methods had been by that time already born and applied in throughout the 1990's. Figure 1 shows the early history of Agile methods.

Figure 1.

History of agile development (adapted from Abrahamsson et al. 2003)


From the figure we can see the following observations from the history of agile methods development:

  • Agile methods were already in practice for more than half a decade before forming the Agile Alliance.

  • The first two agile methods were DSDM and Scrum.

  • Rapid Application Development and object-oriented development could be considered the transitional method between traditional development methods and agile methods.

  • Between 1998 and 2002 is the most productive period for agile methods as the Agile Alliance was formed and many agile methods came into existence.

  • After 2002 agile methods use in the industry has grown exponentially (Begel and Nagappan 2007,) with XP and Scrum taking the lead.

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