Why programmers don’t like Agile?

Why programmers don’t like Agile?


The Agile movement, born from the minds of technical visionaries, was initially a beacon for programmers seeking a more effective approach to software development. However, as time progressed, a shift occurred, steering Agile away from its roots in independent, creative teams towards a more project management-oriented trajectory. In this blog, we explore why programmers, who were once champions of Agile, are now expressing dissatisfaction with it and what might have gone wrong in its evolution.

The Agile Evolution

From Engineering Excellence to Project Management

Originally designed to enhance engineering excellence, Agile focused on delivering high-quality code within a framework of continuous learning and adaptation. However, over time, Agile has been criticized for veering off this path, embracing project management principles at the expense of its original technical focus.

The Gap Between Theory and Practice

While the core values of Agile remain sound, its implementation often falls short, leading to concerns expressed by developers. Robert C. Martin, a key figure in the Agile Manifesto, highlights that the misapplication of Agile by certified Scrum masters and non-technical professionals may be at the root of the problem.

Negative Elements of Agile

Pitfalls of Agile Implementation

According to its creators, Agile can go awry when it:

  • Imposes arbitrary estimates and deadlines on programmers.
  • Introduces a rigid organizational framework, as seen in Scrum.
  • Overburdens teams with excessive documentation and bureaucracy.
  • Ignores the crucial issue of technical debt.

Struggles with Technical Quality

In an ideal Agile environment, developers should have the time to refine code structures and focus on sustainable, long-term solutions. However, the current reality often involves a lack of emphasis on technical quality, leading to dissatisfaction among programmers.

Is Agile Not Working for Developers?

Challenges and Frustrations

Programmers identify several negative aspects of Agile principles, including:

  • Arbitrary goals and unrealistic deadlines.
  • Bureaucracy and limited space for creativity.
  • Pressure on programmers to rush their work.

Programmers often find themselves in situations where management misunderstands or misapplies Agile, turning it into a top-down approach instead of the intended bottom-up empowerment.

Iterative Challenges and Additional Responsibilities

Unintended Consequences

Developers may also resent Agile for being perceived as a “silver bullet” and for the additional responsibilities it places on them, such as planning, managing, and even working directly with customers.

The Software Craftsmanship Alternative

Bridging the Gap

The Software Craftsmanship movement seeks to revisit the original Agile promise, emphasizing:

  • Well-written software over just working code.
  • Continuous value addition over reactive changes.
  • Community collaboration over individual interactions.
  • Productive partnerships over mere customer collaboration.


In conclusion, Agile’s effectiveness depends on a delicate balance of factors such as project team flexibility, organizational culture, and adherence to Agile principles. When these factors align, Agile can be a powerful methodology; otherwise, alternatives like waterfall or spiral approaches may be more suitable. The Software Craftsmanship movement serves as an alternative, seeking to bring back the original promise of Agile by bridging the gap between business and programming.

Thank you for reading. For continued insights and in-depth discussions, please follow our blogs at Ezeiatech.

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