Charlie Alfred’s Weblog

March 19, 2014

The Religious Battle over Agile vs. Waterfall rages on

Filed under: Uncategorized — charliealfred @ 3:52 pm

Every month, I see more and more blog posts trying to argue that agile is superior to waterfall or vise versa.  To me, this seems as pointless as trying to argue whether a Mini Cooper is better vehicle than an Audi A6.  Unfortunately, there is no single process that iss best all of the time. discusses this topic.



  1. I say my Honda Fit Sport drives like a base Mini Cooper, for thousands less! 😀

    Comment by urbie — April 9, 2014 @ 1:43 pm | Reply

    • JK,

      Twitter: calfred. Unfortunately, most of my Tweets are Boston-sports team based :-). Occasional architecture tweet, but 140 chars is a constraint.

      Yes, beauty (especially in autos) is in the eye of the beholder. Mini Cooper was chosen only for contrast in this example.


      Comment by charliealfred — April 9, 2014 @ 4:10 pm | Reply

  2. If by Waterfall you mean “large batch, single pass” process, and by Agile the inference of an “empirical process control” paradigm (Agile is not a process) then I would assert that comparison is nugatory; rather like comparing a rock to a sparrow.

    Comment by Pithythoughts — March 29, 2015 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

    • Let’s have this “rock vs. sparrow” discussion once the first agile team has created a safe jetliner or MRI machine. My point here was not that waterfall is better or worse than agile, it’s that some problems lend themselves to an iterative approach better than others.

      Comment by charliealfred — March 30, 2015 @ 3:46 am | Reply

      • Nugatory = of no value or importance; hence comparing a rock to a sparrow would be a pointless act. Is your assertion that an iterative, incremental approach with frequent inspect-and-adapt points to validate working software, adapt the product requirements and the development process, and enhance learning is antithetical to safety critical or high integrity systems development?

        Comment by Pithythoughts — March 30, 2015 @ 6:06 pm

  3. I don’t think antiethical is the question. The issue is more or less safe. As you can tell, I don’t deal in absolutes as it seems you may. I think the right answer depends on context. I think that a very qualified software team can do better with Agile than one that is less qualified. So please avoid putting pithy thoughts into my mouth. It would be better for you to make your own arguments to support your case. Thanks, Charlie

    Comment by charliealfred — March 30, 2015 @ 6:21 pm | Reply

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