Good agile talent: Why it’s always going to be hard to find
Over the past decade we’ve seen a rise in the agile methodology for software development. While I’m not a developer myself, one thing stands out to me as someone who does know talent acquisition: finding skilled agile practitioners could be a skill in and of itself.
Agile has risen over the past 10 years to become both the most heralded and the most dismissed methodology to come along. We’ll save the discussion over whether or not it’s a valid approach or even a true methodology for another time, but the fact is, agile is being widely used and agile talent is in increasing demand.
What is more telling to me about how difficult it might be to find agile developers is that the agile approach demands that a person knows his or her area of development, but can also see the bigger project picture and quickly adapt his or her development to the progression of the project. So, in short, you don’t have agile so much as a skill, but rather as a part of you.
Agile, in my layman’s terms, is about rapidly taking educated development steps while keeping in mind the overall user experience and the project as a whole. It’s a great deal to manage.
I’m not saying someone cannot be taught this skill; everyone starts somewhere. But part of the gig is possibly already having some of that innate ability to see both the micro and the macro views of a development project.
This is part of the challenge in finding good agile developers. While you can find individuals who have worked in an agile environment, it might be harder to know if they can truly thrive in an agile environment.
Agile development is done rapidly and likely changes as the project evolves, which adds to the agile talent challenge. Someone who performed well on one agile project might not always yield the same results on another.
So the challenge for executives and managers is to establish recruiting and talent acquisition resources that can efficiently find these skilled agile developers, who are seemingly hard to find.