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Development Methodologies

Which One Is The Best?

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Updated March 04, 2010

Flash back to the early 1990's. The "analysis" part of software development was being consumed by a controversy that everybody now calls, "The Method Wars". Over fifty different analysis "methodologies" were being promoted by different experts. Sometimes the main difference was just whether diagrams used circles or boxes to describe things. And the word "wars" is really pretty accurate. These guys were at each other's throats -- in a non-violent, academic sort of way. A peace treaty of sorts was finally found when the same company, Rational Software, hired three of the most influential experts and, in the words of one of them, a "critical mass" was created. They all agreed to support the same methodology and UML was born.

More recently, IBM bought Rational Software and suddenly, Microsoft's enthusiasm for UML has cooled a lot. Well ... in fact, it froze solid. There's nothing like having your biggest competitor buy the standard to cool your jets about supporting it. Visual Studio Team System has a built in methodology that is not UML and the "Three Amigos" who created UML are divided once again. (One is for Microsoft, one is against them and I can't figure out what the third one wants.)

But, somehow, analysis methodology isn't generating the same level of passion today that it did back then. These days, we seem to have moved closer to the actual end product and development methodology wars are taking center stage. For example, in the upcoming Visual Studio Launch (see ... Visual Studio 2010 Launch Event), you can attend sessions about not only the built-in development support in Visual Studio, but also sessions about Agile Development, Scrum and MVVM. (See the GOB - The About Visual Basic "Glossary of Buzzwords" - for definitions of these and more.)

About Visual Basic Reader Ollie McPhee recently posted a message in the About Visual Basic forum asking for help in deciding which development methodology is the right one to choose. Let's give him some.

Post your opinion or real-world experience.

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