In the last 10 years, our software industry has lived a fascinating life. Call it a revolution, an evolution or simply going back to its roots; things have changed ever since one famous weekend in February 2001 in Utah, U.S.A. 17 experts in our industry signed the Agile Manifesto. After a decade of gaining popularity, Agility has grown from a group of 17 signatories to being the “universal remedy for software development project failure“. But where does a PHP developer fit in this whole “Agile thing”? Is PHP setting itself apart from this movement? What should a PHP developer be aware of when he/she embarks on an Agile project?
It’s all about the values
Agile is fundamentally set with core values by which its practices & techniques are derived from. This sets an Agile environment; here any developer must ask themselves if he/she is comfortable in this environment. For instance, Scrum core values are about transparency, inspection and adaptation. Are you, as a developer, ready to embark on a journey that will challenge your code and look at ways of how it can be improved? Or, as a team lead, do you understand that a code review practice will favour transparency, which will lead to better code through inspection and adaptation?
Another key value of Agile is the proximity between the development team and the customer. “Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project“, which means developers need to listen, understand and discover the customers’ needs. This is usually a stimulating activity for developers but, at the same time, it’s challenging as developers have to show how well they have worked on their soft skills to communicate clearly with the customer. As a PHP developer, you must learn to leave behind your techno-babble so your customer can understand your point during a collaborative session. You must also learn how to educate your customer when technical terms are required during a conversation.
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