Agile Sabbatical

October 6, 2016 at 2:55 pm 2 comments

I am currently on sabbatical from Lane Community College studying the current “best practices” in Agile software development as they are being applied in the local software industry. I am conducting this study by:

  • Reading current literature on Agile methodologies
  • Visiting software development teams at local companies to do observation and interviews
  • Applying what I learn to managing a software development team on an Open Source software project

Survey of current literature
The following list consists of some of the more highly regarded books on Agile and Scrum. As I study these books, I will also be looking for other books as well as journal and internet articles to include in my study.

Martin, Robert. Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices. Prentice Hall, 2002
Sims, Chris and Johnson, Hillary. Scrum: a Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction. Dymaxicon, 2014
Rubin, Kenneth. Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process. Addison-Wesley, 2012
Lacey, Mitch. The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice for Your First Year. Addison-Wesley, 2012
Shore, James. The Art of Agile Development. O’Reilly Media, 2007
Schwaber, Ken. Agile Project Management with Scrum. Microsoft Press, 2004

Observation and interviews with local software development teams
I have contacts at a number of local companies with software development teams that I hear are effectively applying Agile development practices. (My contacts include former students, members of our department’s Community Advisory Committee). I will be visiting these companies to do interviews, observe, and perhaps even participate in their software development process.

Applying Agile development practices to an open-source software project
Several years ago, I started developing a software system for helping people learn a foreign language. It is an open-source project hosted on SourceForge here:
There have been a number of contributors to the project, many of them former students. There are still enough contributors who are interested in the project to form a team. In order to get experience managing an Agile team, I plan to apply what I learn to re-vitalizing the development team and serving as “scrum master”.

Relevance to teaching at LCC
Agile software development has come to be regarded as an essential part of any professional software developer’s knowledge and experience. By following the above plan of action, I will be able to obtain this knowledge and experience. As a faculty member in CIT, I teach a number of classes include Agile development as part of the curriculum. I also teach classes where students need to apply Agile methods as they do team software development projects. The classes are: CIS244, Systems Analysis; CS246, Systems Design; and CS297 Programming Capstone.

Agile Software development is an area of knowledge and experience that is in high demand in the software industry. By having the knowledge and experience to teach Agile more effectively, I will be helping our students be more competitive in the marketplace. I will also be giving them a professional skill that will improve the quality and effectiveness of their work.

Join me
I will be making frequent posts to this blog reporting on my findings. If you have books or articles to reccomend, post a comment here. If you would like me to come see your development team in action, send me a message. If you would like to work on an open source language learning software team, send me a message!

Entry filed under: Programming. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Open Source Machine Translation Projects | Bird's Bits  |  October 7, 2016 at 10:30 am

    […] translation of natural languages that I can contribute to. My motivation comes partly from my sabbatical project– one part of the project is to manage an open source project. No, I’m not looking for a […]

  • 2. Visual Studio Code: Use, Build, Improve | Bird's Bits  |  October 8, 2016 at 6:01 am

    […] a previous post, I mentioned that I plan to participate in an open-source project as part of my sabbatical activities. After looking at quite a few projects, I found one that I believe will give me the experience I […]


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