Agile — A Programmer’s Perspective

Is this Doing Agile, Being Agile or Playing Agile? Photo by Wai Siew on Unsplash


Therefore, in this article, I will try to clarify some parts of Agile that are relevant and meaningful to programmers (or any role Agile framework would categorised as team member). Hope this will let more people “Being Agile instead” of “Doing Agile”, which is used to describe the activity of doing window dressing without applying the core values.

BTW, I am designing a board game named “Playing Agile” (more or less like Werewolf), if you are interested, feel free to contact me.

Scrum Master is a Scrum Servant

They are there to serve the team. Since one of their task is to keep you and the team not over-committed or under-committed, you should communicate with him/her to make sure he/she got the right estimation for your capacity. And you should also defend your capacity.

If you think the process is too bureaucratic / inefficient, or you just don’t like it. Then raise the issue to the Scrum master, remember they are servant leader.

PO decide what, You decide how

While you should not let PO do the thing you are trained to, you should also trust the professional skills of your PO.


Here are some tips:

  • Do high-risky task first. A Task is considered as high-risky, if a) you don’t have prior experience, b) the task is too complex. People also call this “fail fast”.
  • Pick low-hanging fruit first. This helps to keep the morale.

Scoping and Estimation

  • Complexity (How hard?)
  • Size (How big?)
  • Level of Effort (How many human resources & how much time did the team spend to complete for similar task?)
  • Certainty (Is there any unknown problems?)

You should not let PO, customers or other stakeholders to define that for you because the work will be done by you.

You may want to apply the estimation method widely used in the military field to give three estimations: optimistic, most likely and pessimistic time.


Thank you for reading and stay safe :)

Senior Software Engineer @ Instana, Programming / Human Language Enthusiast. Located in Munich, Germany

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store