Non allegiance

04 July

Anyone who has attended a Software Education course will be familiar with the most common answer we give to questions: ”it depends”. (We do then try to provide a context for what it depends on).

We are strong supporters of the context-driven approach to all aspects of software engineering – there is truly no “one size fits all” option in any of the topic areas we cover.

In the Agile space, there has been a distressing tendency to form camps around one approach or another (If you’re not doing XXXXX exactly according to YYYYY book then you’re WRONG!), at times the public debate has been fierce, and dogma reigns.

In our classrooms and course material, we try to avoid dogma and shamelessly draw from many different authors, approaches and schools of thought to present what we feel is a pragmatic combination of techniques and tools that our participants can draw from in their daily work.

We are not the only ones who have noted the issue of dogma in the software world.  Alistair Cockburn, one of the original authors of the Agile Manifesto and a highly respected agilist has drafted an “Oath of Non-allegiance“. As he says:

I’m tired of people from one school of thought dissing ideas from some other school of thought. I hunger for people who don’t care where the ideas come from, just what they mean and what they produce. So I came up with that “Oath of Non-Allegiance”.

The text of the oath is

I promise not to exclude from consideration any idea based on its source but to consider ideas across schools and heritages in order to find the ones that best suit the current situation.

It’s certainly something that I can agree with and have signed it.

More discussion about this can be found here:

What do you think?


Posted by Shane Hastie