All Forked Up
I dunno who said it, but paraphrasing whoever did:
Science progresses as a succession of funerals.
Even though more accurate and realistic models that characterize the behavior of mass and energy are continuously being discovered, the only way the older physics models die out is when their adherents kick the bucket.
The same dictum holds true for software development methodologies. In the beginning, there was the Traditional (a.k.a waterfall) methodology and its formally codified variations (RUP, MIL-STD-498, CMMI-DEV, your org’s process, etc). Next, came the Agile fork as a revolutionary backlash against the inhumanity inherent to the traditional way of doing things.
The most recent fork in the methodology march is the cerebral SEMAT (Software Engineering Method And Theory) movement. SEMAT can be interpreted (perhaps wrongly) as a counter-revolution against the success of Agile by scorned, closet traditionalists looking to regain power from the agilistas.
On the other hand, perhaps the Agile and SEMAT camps will form an alliance and put the final nail in the coffin of the old traditional way of doing things before its adherents kick the bucket.
SEMAT co-creator Ivar Jacobson seems to think that hitching SEMAT to the Agile gravy train holds promise for better and faster software development techniques.
Who knows what the future holds? Is another, or should I say, “the next“, fork in the offing?