Gaudi’s Agile Ways of Working
In the first part of this series, we’ve enjoyed the mesmerising colours of the Sagrada Familia and made our way through Gaudí’s Agile Ways of Working. Our journey was all about the empirical, iterative approach and the master’s great ability to create a great environment for efficient collaboration. After a short break, it’s time to get back to exploring more similarities between Gaudí’s methods and the way agile products are developed today.
We’ve eaten all the jamon sandwiches we picked up on our way to the Sagrada Familia, and the museum is about to close. It’s time to get back to learning, full of energy! So come and join me and see what else the Master has to teach us.
I think that Gaudí’s successors were very happy to have inherited all the models, all the schemes, all the experimental models — not just the piles of drawings and the finished results. In the museum it is easy to get to know the whole process of building, from the design to the execution of the work. It is striking how much you can learn even if you have no professional knowledge of the subject. Gaudí made it look easy, and he certainly succeeded in making his progress inheritable and comprehensible.
In other contexts it works in the same way, and software development is hardly an exception. Genius is simple, but it’s extremely difficult to simplify. It’s a challenge to design the code base so that it’s intuitively clear to strangers. And it’s even harder to maintain it that way. To make sure that all the new changes don’t ruin that smoothness. We always hear about technical debt, legacy code, and overly complicated architecture as the most painful problems for developers. It’s no less difficult to make your product’s idea easy for your target audience to understand. Many ideas that look unbelievably promising often turn into fiascos when they are confronted with the cruel reality.
The pursuit of simplicity and leanness, with the courage to eliminate waste, is what distinguishes successful projects. It’s so painful to throw away the ideas you believed in so passionately, to reject the work you’ve done so thoroughly, and then to move on and start all over again as if nothing had…