Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Which Development Model To Use?


One of the first things that you are taught as a fresher in a IT Services company is the Software Development Life Cycle, popularly know in the industry as SDLC. You are taught various models that companies follow while developing software, the Waterfall model probably being the most common of them. It is a slow and heavy model, pretty much like an IL-76 transport aircraft - Good when you are transporting heavy stuff (similar to good when you are developing huge applications). But if you are a startup or a lone developer you really don't need the IL-76 to get where you want. What you really need is a Sukhoi 30!

Looking at various Agile Development Models, I stumbled upon SCRUM. I read about it in Wikipedia and then did some more research on it by googling it. The way the whole model has been explained is very simple and I developed a liking for it when I read it the first time. Simple and clear, no bullshit!

The interesting part was that the typical team size for the development team was 5-9 people. I wondered whether I should try my hands at this because my team right now is pretty much me. However, knowing the importance of documentation and how it will help later when the team size grows, I thought of giving it a try. I started writing the product backlog.

A couple of days into writing the product backlog I realized I was wasting precious time. What was important at this point was to get the first stage of the product ready. Documentation can be done whenever I get the time but the focus has to be on developing the prototype of the product. No wonder they mentioned a typical team size. So until my team reaches that size, I will be loosely following the SCRUM model. That is to say, I will be simply deciding what I am going to do in the next 15 days and then do it. Simple.

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