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Gil Zilberfeld has been in software since childhood, writing BASIC programs on his trusty Sinclair ZX81. With more than twenty years of developing commercial software, he has vast experience in software methodology and practices. Gil is an agile consultant, applying agile principles over the last decade. From automated testing to exploratory testing, design practices to team collaboration, scrum to kanban, and lean startup methods – he’s done it all. He is still learning from his successes and failures. Gil speaks frequently in international conferences about unit testing, TDD, agile practices and communication. He is the author of "Everyday Unit Testing", blogs at and in his spare time he shoots zombies, for fun. Gil is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 76 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile


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It's a few days now after the Agile Practitioners 2013 Conference. Great people make great conferences, and they certainly did this time.  I spent most of my time meeting and talking with people, and I also enjoyed some great sessions too.

This was a local conference (for me anyway) and I got a different vibe, than what I get in international conferences. There's also a chance that because Israelis are not shy (read: brutal) about letting you know how they feel.

Here are a few of my observations:

  • Agile is definitely not dead. More people realize that the old ways of developing software are not enough. Many new people came to the conference, which is always a sign for non-deadness.
  • Kanban is getting traction. Yuval Yeret’s session was not an introductory one, yet drew a large crowd including both newbies and experienced people.
  • The perception of agile is changing. People gain experience and understand that the benefits of agile come with a cost. Change is hard. Its a long way, and yet people are willing to take the high road.
  • The theme of the conference, as well as the depth of the sessions, raises the stakes. It is no longer about agile for software developers, it’s an organizational transformation. Ambitious goal, that along with embracing reality may eventually succeed.

All these point to one thing: maturity. Not of agile, or the values behind it. The maturity of people.

This is important.

I’m not sure about what “successful agile” is. I think it’s about transforming organizations into learning entities, that accept reality, willing to lose grounds in order to gain some later, and most of all, got happy people working in a safe environment. This may change tomorrow, but hey, I’m writing this today.

I do know one thing: To achieve this, what you don’t need is a bunch of crazy messiahs, calling for change because they are the only ones who know better. Been there, didn't succeed in that.

The successful mature way, is to ask tough questions and learn. To take the risks, weight the costs, fail and succeed in experiments, and learn from both.

And when you show results, you get promoted, and can make more changes.

The transformation is coming. As long as we’re running a marathon, rather than sprints (pun intended), I think agile might have a chance.

If not, I refer you to my agile is doomed post. I’m covered.

Published at DZone with permission of Gil Zilberfeld, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)