23 Reaching Out to the Future

The goal of this chapter is to outline the mindset needed to survive and thrive as a software engineering professional in this digital age. Software engineering professionals must not only know technology, design, and how to build products, but also be able to contribute to their way of working, methods, and practices. They may not have the expertise to design their team’s or organization’s way of working, but they must participate in it because it affects them. In this chapter, the reader will be shown

  • the difference between agility as “doing agile” (with practices) compared to “being agile” (with mindset) and explain why the latter is more important than the former;
  • important mindset changes to be aware of, including team ownership (instead of selected-few ownership), a focus on method use rather than description, and embracing the evolution of the methods (instead of keeping them fixed);
  • important shortcomings in method descriptions, e.g., failing to communicate what the team really needs—which might be a way to determine real development progress, a means to plan, a system to organize their team members, etc.; and
  • the important role of continuous improvement and intentional creation of an environment, in which continuous improvement of the employed method can naturally happen.

After studying this chapter, you should be able to

  • explain the intent of the Agile Manifesto and its key principles;
  • describe mindset changes that need to happen when becoming agile;
  • explain what a team really needs from a method, by giving examples; and
  • explain what it means to say there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to methods, and what this implies.