Understanding Agile Software Development
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by Joydip Kanjilal
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What is Agile Software Development?

Agile is basically an alternative approach to the software project management that is quite different from the traditional waterfall model that is mostly practiced by software farms globally. We are now coming across various hot methods like Crystal, Extreme Programming (XP), Scrum, Adaptive Software Development, etc. All of these team up to form the agile software development. Agility is important not only for the software development methodologies, but also concerning any organization. Agility is the keyword for survival of the organizations in the near future.

Agile methods are based on real time communication between the programming team and its customers. The customers normally include project managers, analysts, and actual customers. All of them communicate face-to-face without putting much emphasis on written documentations. This is a key emphasis area for Agile Development and is a point of criticism. The team resides in an arrangement or enclosure wherein they can freely communicate with each other. The enclosure also may contain Quality Assurance Engineers, Graphics Designers and respective managers.

Most of the agile software development methods call for minimizing the risk by developing software in short modular boxes called iterations. Each of these iterations is by itself a mini software project and follows all the standard phases of the software project life cycle, such as project planning, requirement analysis, system design, code generation, testing and documentation. Completion of any iteration is followed by review of the project priorities by the project team.

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