Twenty years ago, Architecture was murdered in its sleep by Agile, as part of the assassination plot against the arch-enemy Waterfall. Fast forward to today, and Agile isn't looking too healthy either: reduced to hollow-eyed cargo culting and pointless rituals, wading through the debris of methodology pop culture, or bloated to a monstrous parody of itself in order to scale. But death aside, they are both still among us, and moaning for brains. Why?
One reason might be that the problems that Architecture and Agile set out to fix have not been solved. Or they need continuous solving, and in the absence of new life to tackle them, we animate our dead. What are these problems, and how do we see them today?
Have we learned anything from the death of these two grand attempts at fixing software development, and their refusal to lie down even in the face of death? Is there still something that can be found in the black hearts of the undead that can be of use in addressing the problems we face? Should Agile and Architecture be revived or put out of their misery for good? Will we be able to? What new kind of life do these two half-lives point towards? What acts of bravery will be required of us going forward?
Einar W. Høst is a socio-technical advisor at the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration. He enjoys collaborative modelling, API design and computer programming. Over the last ten years, he has done talks on a variety of topics, including hypermedia, resiliency, recursive art and lambda calculus. He has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Oslo....