Wonder why some people are adamant that Agile can’t work; won’t work; shouldn’t be tried; or is the work of the devil? I do.
Mind you, I’m not talking about rational skeptics who question anything and everything. I’m a rational skeptic. That’s part of being a tester. I questioned XP and Agile when I first heard about them. I figured Agile was a fad that would blow over, kinda like CASE. It took me a while to realize the value in Agile and XP.
So I think skepticism is good. Skepticism prevents us from blindly following the latest trend or from believing the Snakeoil Salesman who stocks a wide range of Silver Bullets.
But people who rant, at length, about how XP just Won’t Work; how Agilists might as well wear saffron robes because it’s obviously a Cult; and how Scrum is a marketing scam, all without having actually experienced or witnessed first hand the thing they’re arguing against? I wonder about them. I wonder what trauma induced such rancor. I wonder where the bitterness comes from. Most of all, I wonder when those people with so much to say against Agile actually listened enough to figure out what it is.
All this wondering led me to consider plausible reasons for such resistance. I realized that the arguments offered against Agile may not be telling the whole story.
Thus, I present my top 10 list of Secret Fears that I could imagine might influence someone to oppose adopting Agile/XP. Loudly. Verbosely. Maybe even publicly. Like in a blog even.
- Moving to a shared workspace means losing my window/door/corner cubicle.
- Integrating the team means I might lose my status as the resident QA/Database/UI/Server/SOA/Mobile/whatever Guru.
- Collective code ownership means we’ll have to make a final decision on The Great Curly Brace Placement Debate. Ugh.
- Collective code ownership means I’ll have to let other people change my precious code. My Code. My Precious. Mine.
- Refactor?!? It took forever, and I still don’t know what exactly made the difference, but I finally got it working, and now you want me to CHANGE it?!?
- If the business stakeholders knew what we’re actually doing, they might try to stop us.
- I won’t be able to claim “done” just by checking in code/finding a showstopper bug/showing that the build is broken. That could seriously interfere with my lunch plans.
- I can hardly stand my coworkers in our weekly team meetings. You want me to sit elbow-to-elbow, pairing with one of those morons for six hours a day!?!?
- I just know I’ll get stuck pairing with someone who farts/picks his nose/has other odious personal habits.
- My teammates will discover I fart/pick my nose/have other odious personal habits.