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Agile is falling, like religions do

Posted on November 16, 2008, in Philosophy, Programming

Re: Comments on http://jamesshore.com/Blog/The-Decline-and-Fall-of-Agile.html

For example

Well, okay, but Agile is starting to sound a lot more like religious rhetoric than an engineering practice.


Insert compelling argument here. It is a religion.

Agile is not a religion, however, both Agile and religions are non-ideas. Also referred to as the third value of the propositional truth trichotomy, “not even false”, non-terminating computation, the bottom value, unfalsifiable, or if you prefer, outright nonsense. All religions and Agile (and Scrum and REST and SOA and… need I go on?) fall into this broader category. It might be healthy to call this category “religion”, but many observers - at least in my dealings - won’t understand why you have shifted to this consistent definition.

Hitherto Agile and religions exhibit common traits; ill-definition (you know the real Agile or are you a real Muslim?), sub-cultures in conflict (religion implies war), extreme absurdity in contrast to a mild absurdity (an invisible sky daddy watching everything we do, whose son died for sins…), cult leaders able to alter the course of the flock and cognitive dissonance - holding two otherwise immediately apparent logically contradicting positions at once.

I’m happy to hear this pseudo-science is falling - its absence is an improvement for the industry and the quality of software development. However, the concern is that it will be replaced by another non-concept for the scientific-illiterates to sustain their well-intentioned misguidance.

History tells us that its downfall is not an improvement. After all, what was immediately before the current Abrahamic false ideas? The creation of the universe and therefore, the first religions? No, I don’t think so either - I don’t think anybody does :)