Lazy Developers Hate Agile and Scrum

@dparnas and Twan van den Broek got together to discuss the issues behind why developers may or may not hate Agile and Scrum.

“Lazy developers cannot hide specific problems for weeks. Every day you have to explain your progress.”

“Lazy developers hate Scrum because they have to report progress everyday.”

“It’s really a team effort, the team has the responsibility to deliver together.”

“Lazy developer are often the ones that now have to show what they’ve been hiding before from a customer.”

“In sum we do believe lazy developers hate Scrum and Agile because they have to change, they have to be much more visible to what they are doing and cannot hide.”

It sounds to me that it’s not that developers hate Scrum… but rather lazy developers hate Scrum… and lazy developers don’t like to be transparent about what they are working on…

Are they really lazy? Or are they just in self-preservation mode…

[HT: Elsewhat]

99 Responses to “Lazy Developers Hate Agile and Scrum”

  1. Paul Boos
    April 15, 2011 at 5:59 am #

    Cultural change is hard. What folks in management (ScrumMaster and above) is you have to emphasize that it is a team effort and that no one person will be to blame unless they consistently are letting the team down. At the start of teh adoption, this gives some safety, but acknowledges the fact that everyone has to be at least attempting to support the team.

    Alas, not everyone may be a good fit for Agile…

    • peter
      April 16, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

      Not everyone…

  2. David Clarke
    April 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    Dang, and I always thought it was good to be a lazy developer. Lazy developers would rather write a script to do a task than do it manually over and over. Lazy developers are natural advocates of DRY because who wants to write the same code more than once. Lazy developers write the best tests because they hate spending time in the debugger. Lazy developers write the best code because they hate having to do maintenance and bug fixes. Lazy developers *love* Scrum because they don’t have to work late nights and weekends.

    • peter
      April 16, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

      :)

    • Dagfinn Parnas
      April 25, 2011 at 3:26 am #

      Good point. In many ways I agree lazy is a good character trait.

      Reminds me of the following quote:
      “There are only four types of officer. First, there are the lazy, stupid ones. Leave them alone, they do no harm…Second, there are the hard- working, intelligent ones. They make excellent staff officers, ensuring that every detail is properly considered. Third, there are the hard- working, stupid ones. These people are a menace and must be fired at once. They create irrelevant work for everybody. Finally, there are the intelligent, lazy ones. They are suited for the highest office” – General Erich Von Manstein

      • David
        April 23, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

        The truly lazy developers are those who will not pursue their trade enough to understand or learn best practices. It’s much easier to copy-paste code than refactor, for example. In my experience, no other methodology exposes these folks faster than scrum.

    • James Peckham
      August 16, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

      often i find it isn’t laziness as much as it is ‘fear’ of something. usually it’s fear of being exposed as not having the proper specific technical training around the particular technologies they’re supposed to use. Some times it’s a lack of trust of their teammates (like QA specialists not trusting programmers to actually jump in and test things like they should). I think you guys glazed over the general feeling but to make such a broad generalization is unfair. Most people are just fearful of the unknown… OR they have experienced a VERY BAD scrum implementation. with over 65% of scrum implementations failing it’s a good probability that every programmer you meet has been through a piss poor implementation of scrum where management was command and control, or other crazy dysfunctions left a poor taste in their mouth.

      • David
        April 23, 2014 at 11:56 pm #

        I agree. It’s ok to fear if you’re willing to face your fears and defeat them. We all face fears as developers. Often, however, developers fear the reality of their own incompetence and prefer to stay shielded below the radar. Incompetence and laziness go hand in hand. Scrum exposes this pair.

  3. Arnold Corn
    April 17, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    Hi I don’t like SCRUM, but not because I’m lazy and don’t want to report my progress. But because SCRUM provides no actual benefits to the development process. Waterfall any day thanks. Oh dear I must me a crazy backward freak if I don’t like SCRUM right?. No, sorry I’m calling the emperors new clothes on SCRUM. I want requirements from a Business Analysts – not ‘stick-it notes and crayons’ because requirement gathers are TOO LAZY to create requirements. That’s the real issue here “Let’s go agile!” – then I don’t have to write requirements, hey anything difficult I’ll call it a ‘spike’. There’s another factor at play too – I’m a professional. I’m bright and I understand CS in great detail – so please don’t hand me a crayon and tell me ‘how fun’ everything is on a post-it note and treat me like I’m a child. I’ve met SCRUM masters, they are genrally condescending two week trained dilettantes. If I went to college and became a lawyer or an accountant would I accept a SCRUM master – of course not they’d be laughed out of the industry. It’s time we did exactly this in the programming industry. Developers, developers, developers – let’s get rid of SCRUM and reclaim our self-respect.

    • peter
      April 17, 2011 at 9:19 am #

      Thanks for your feedback. What would you propose otherwise? Just waterfall?

      • Maha
        October 6, 2011 at 8:28 am #

        As a consultant, I’m ok with SCRUM as long as I”m paid by the hour. Otherwise…its a hell hole.

    • Matthew
      October 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

      I agree wholeheartedly. Much of the process makes me cringe. Does management really think that I would not know what I was working on if I didn’t have a daily meeting?? For heavens sake I am a professional. So you have me co-located — good —so why make me do the daily line-up? It is redundant and of no-benefit as it is far too perfunctory. If communication is paramount, I’ve got news for you — these daily meetings are not natural or organic at all!

    • vlad102
      October 26, 2011 at 7:57 am #

      So true. Why would anyone with a CS degree from an actual university and tons of experience listen to these mail-order SCRUM masters?

      Here’s an idea for management. Since you hired me to do a job that you are most likely clueless how to do yourself, why don’t you let me do it and then I won’t come into your office with a bunch of crayons and tell you how to do yours.

    • NoNames Please
      August 4, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

      I love your comment. Exactly my views. My boss is an idiot. Doesn’t even have a 4 year college degree. She does nothing all day. Just browses the net most of the day or chats with other managers. I am the one doing all the work and getting treated like a child for 15 minutes a day.

      • peter
        August 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

        Reminds me of my first PM. You never forget your first PM as a developer… *shiver*

  4. Bubak
    April 17, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Scrum is just another form of micromanagement. And ‘scrum’ meeting can easily turn into two hours debate about some minor problem.

    Yes, I am not lazy, yet I hate scrum.

    • peter
      April 17, 2011 at 9:19 am #

      Developers unite!

  5. Damon
    April 17, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    The management worker relationship is complex. I don’t think it is fair to just make the statement that lazy developers don’t like agile. Sometimes developers just don’t like __your__ agile.

    I’ve done scrum at 3 different shops. Only once has it been a effective and enjoyable tool. Another time, it worked, but was nothing special. My other experience was miserable.

    For me, it really depends on the office culture. If the teams got along well socially, it worked. If teams were led by a “good” manager, it worked.

    It is possible scrum environments end up feeling like your doing self-surveillance because the manager feels like he/she needs to know what your doing at all hours of the day. People push back from that.

    In short, agile can be misused and abused. People rarely do things by the book. No one self reports when they screwed up. Get off the high horse. Developers aren’t the only ones who make or break the experience.

    • peter
      April 17, 2011 at 9:20 am #

      Agreed. It’s not just developers. Management can ruin scrum too

  6. Randall Reed
    April 17, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    There are certainly lazy developers, but my biggest beef about scrum is that the burnup has become more important to management than the actual work being done. Also, I’m pretty tired of agile evangelicals telling me how it should be. It seems like those guys do a lot of drive by consulting and never seem to come back years later to see what a mess they made.

    • peter
      April 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

      Right? Bunch of “agile bombs” dropped by consultancies and then… who cleans up the mess?

  7. David Clarke
    April 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    I like scrum and have been promoting it’s use for the last few years. It was most effective in an organisation that was failing badly to deliver an application using *traditional* practices. But I can understand some of the sentiment expressed above. Scrum isn’t a one size fits all solution and trying to introduce Scrum into an existing team can be extremely difficult, often for some of the above reasons. Even an enthusiastic adopter is going to come adrift if they immediately try to adopt all the Scrum practices. There are however immediate benefits to be gained by asking developers to take responsibility for their output by making it visible to all team members. It is also a great way to bring focus on delivery.

  8. ram
    April 17, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    It is clearly the “beginning of the end” for Agile/Scrum methodologies. Once they start adopting double
    Standards of self righteous labeling of “Lazy Developer” — it’s clear that they are now looking for “scapegoats” for either their incompetence or process related issues — there’s no more “team approach” — how about “Lazy Management” or “Idiot Scrum’Master” — neither of who grasp the issues — when was the last time anything remotely useful like a framework or os or device ever got done thru these methodologies — many a moron fad pass thru IT mgt — this too shall pass

    • peter
      April 17, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

      Agreed Ram! You’re so on point!

      • peter
        April 17, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

        It’s not the process. it’s the PEOPLE.

      • David Clarke
        April 17, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

        @Peter I’m missing the point of your responses. How is Ram so on point? Agile is not something unique to software development. In response to Ram’s invective, remotely useful things are frequently developed using agile techniques (e.g. Toyota/kanban). As a developer, I want to deliver a quality product on time and Scrum helps me achieve that. Yes there will normally be one or more project members including other developers who will try to control the process but the power of Scrum is being able to stand up each day and report what I achieved yesterday, what got in my way, and what I plan to achieve today. When everyone in the team is doing that then the project is moving forwards. Using alternative methodologies it is possible for an individual to be busy rowing backwards. It’s the process and the people.

        • peter
          April 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

          I guess I should be more specific. Ram points to some basic issues: PEOPLE. People own processes, not processes owning people. There are “idiot” scrummasters and “idiot” pm’s etc, and frameworks are useless without people either adhering to them, or breaking them.

          Scrum is great. I’m a supporter of it. I’m a supporter of Agile being a philosophy http://agilescout.com/agile-is-not-a-methodology/
          But you’re right, if everyone on the team is moving together than things can get done… call it whatever you’d like!

  9. Fred
    April 18, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    First, it depends on what you mean by lazy developers.

    a) Lazy has not being able to accomplish a task in a effective fashion?

    Example, someone who has to search, change a link / repetitive block of text in nearly all pages and regress testing “manually” in a CMS stored in an unfriendly BLOB database ?

    b) The opposite (the good lazy programmer), like using a regexp and perl -pie/bash to accomplish a task using the less possible amount of time and resources ?

    Like doing a search/replace in all files with a multi-line regexp, svn diff, commit, test (only those pages), tag, deploy ?! ^o)

    I am the second “B” kind.

    I once heard from a “senior” Java/Agile architect screaming at me, because I used Perl to refactor/generate Java code and that was “unacceptable” in a purist Java environment, I was supposed to do it “manually”. Not kidding.

    “Lazy developers cannot hide specific problems for weeks. Every day you have to explain your progress.”

    Irrelevant. You do not need agile, all you need is something like a bug tracker or a time tracker. Both will require you to fix bugs/tasks and enter the amount of time taken for each of them. Especially good for planning and billing by project managers.

    I have seen tons of Agile programmers “hiding problems for weeks” to hide their own incompetence, including in meetings. Agile or not is irrelevant.

    “Lazy developers hate Scrum because they have to report progress everyday.”

    See above. I hate Scrum and Agile, because it means:

    A) for most “project managers / clients” that they can insert “insane amount of change requests” for the same price and delivery date.

    Which means, you are doing overtime, lots of it, which they reply you are not doing Agile the “right way”, yeah right!

    B) for most “senior architects” that they can bill 2-10x the initial project value (if done using Waterfall) for accepting “insane amount of change requests” or “doing non-sense” and then everyone wonders why they cannot ship or have a “precise/sane” target price. Not kidding either.

    C) for most “lazy incompetent programmers” for doing anything in any other on the stakes of being “Agile”, without real progress.
    Heck, if feature X is not implemented or implemented incorrectly or not tested, they reply YAGNI anyway. They broke half of the code base by implementing a feature? Easy, they svn delete all of that part, then if you say WTF!? they reply YAGNI, we will handle it later… that is the Agile way of doing it!

    D) for most “Agile consultants” billing for teaching their own incompetence on a process that does not work.

    “It’s really a team effort, the team has the responsibility to deliver together.”

    Also irrelevant. If you do not have a “good team” working together, whatever the process it will not work for a big project that cannot be accomplished alone.

    “Lazy developer are often the ones that now have to show what they’ve been hiding before from a customer.”

    Define hiding? Like what:
    - refactoring code ?
    - documenting code ?
    - creating test cases ?
    - tagging and merging ?
    - code reviews?
    - back-end ?
    - tuning the database schema ?
    - security auditing ?
    - group discussions and meetings ?
    - ensuring the product is maintainable and scalable ?

    As far as most customers are concerned the only thing they see is the “visual GUI part” and some “performance” from the application being delivered. Most could not careless about anything else, because they do not understand it. Even if you repetitively explain it to them. Those costs must be “included” in the final price.

    “In sum we do believe lazy developers hate Scrum and Agile because they have to change, they have to be much more visible to what they are doing and cannot hide.”

    I hate Scrum and Agile, because they are meaningless and abused buzzwords that means different things to different people,
    and most people who think they follow those processes, do not,
    and those who do, over do it. And even if you do what your suppose to do, it is still inefficient.

    We do mostly cyclic waterfall, because it works, always shipped on date, always on budget. Need some flexibility in it?
    No problem make sure your bunch of little fast-prototype is made sooner with the help of the designers, project managers and stakeholders, just enough to ensure the end result is feasible technically and within the allocated time-frame and budget and available resources, then go as planned with stages.
    This means having a good team relationship with the others, so they know they can “disturb” you, before signing a contract or proposing a feature/change/enhancement.

    Want a change request?

    1) First say NO, not included in the original specs, which is the proper answer.

    2) Then if they insists say, if possible, but with X$ price increase, plus later launch date or it must replace another feature. That usually cut-off lots of them, since launch date cannot be moved, they normally agree for post-launch or only the “really important” ones.

    3) Due to the above, in the original specs, add a reasonable amount of “known” change requests and “feedbacks cycle”, which will come in the original budget/time frame.

    4) Then, specify that they might be able to pre-launch “sooner”, if they cut-off on the change requests, that normally help things go very smoothly, but not always.

    That is how we do it and it works. Clients are happy, so are we.

    > Alas, not everyone may be a good fit for Agile

    Meetings everyday, no thanks. I got better things to do.

    Some senior engineer once told me, when you say task X takes 2 weeks they assume it takes 2 weeks including 2 weeks of meetings bugging you for progress reports within that same time frame and that my friend is 160 hours of work to be done in 80 hours*.
    *A bit exaggerated but not by much.

    • Dave Ziffer
      April 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      Thanks so much Fred. My sentiments exactly. You may have saved me from writing my own long response. -Dave Ziffer

  10. Dagfinn Parnas
    April 18, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    In the original post there are some good discussions going on. Especially, from the people who have a different viewpoint than me.

    http://elsewhat.com/2010/05/20/lazy-developers-hate-agile-and%C2%A0scrum/

    • peter
      April 18, 2011 at 8:24 am #

      Thanks a bunch for the link! Now “lazy developers” can direct their disdain directly to you! :) just kidding.

    • Jordan
      April 20, 2011 at 12:02 am #

      That’s terrific Dagfinn. I look forward to my recent comment showing up on your blog then and not merely held ad infinitum “in moderation”.

      The one where I reply to your quoted “research paper” from Sutherland et al.

      Jordan

  11. jimmy
    April 18, 2011 at 4:05 am #

    give developers freedom, they need to think and need concentration.
    reporting everyday??? it may be good for marketing guys, but for developers, it’s just a pain in the arse

    • peter
      April 18, 2011 at 8:26 am #

      It definitely can be. Daily updates? No good. Daily conversation amongst the team? Better.

  12. John Keating
    April 18, 2011 at 5:22 am #

    Productive developers hate Scrum because it’s a waste of time. One day people will cringe at how childish the industry became with ‘Scrum Masters’ and the like. It’s a load of wank and we all professional developers know it. In the meantime Keep patting yourselves on the back Lads!

    • peter
      April 18, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      :) “Load of wank” don’t know what that means, but it sounds funny!

  13. Jordan
    April 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    It is not only lazy developers that hate scrum.

    That is quite insulting.

    Is it only lazy people that hate golf? Is it only lazy developers that hate waterfall?

    There are many reasons to be for or against scrum, but simply labeling them as “lazy” is irresponsible.

    Additionally, most of these quotes are strawmen.

    I have never seen teams where people hide and don’t show what they are doing.

    Whether it’s through daily checkins, checking things off as done in JIRA, management can see what developers are producing with or without scrum.

    It is an offensive straw man.

    Jordan

    • peter
      April 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

      Well put Jordan. Blanket statements sure do get press and attention, but that’s the point. We wanted to point out that people actually believe this stuff… and it really doesn’t help the scrum software development cause… it only hurts it.

    • Dagfinn Parnas
      April 25, 2011 at 3:39 am #

      I never claimed it is just lazy developers that hate scrum. The video was a response to a statement from an analyst that claimed “developers hate scrum” when one of the CO-CEOs of SAP stated the benefits they’ve had introducing lean and scrum. Me and Twan was surprised of this as it didn’t match our experience, and we tried to find an example of why people might hate scrum.

      As stated on the youtube description “discuss the reason why lazy developers might fear and hate agile and scrum”.

      I agree that there are plenty of other reasons to dislike scrum, and I am in no way saying that they are lazy. Get your logic right.

    • Dagfinn Parnas
      April 25, 2011 at 3:42 am #

      My main point is not that management can see what the lazy developers are doing or not doing with scrum. It is that the developer is part of a team of peers that have a high degree of transparency internally and are all commited to the same goal. If one team member doesn’t pull his weight, others will have to compensate.

      Management should stay out of this.

  14. Pichat
    April 22, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    Being lazy is good, it’s one core value of lean (removing waste, producing more value with less effort) and it’s one core principle of the agile manifesto (maximizing the amount of work not done).

    However… there are people who are sceptic towards agile or voice there dislikes about a bad agile experience, and that’s a really good thing! When pseudo agile programs are imposed on people, without giving respect or understanding, any intelligent person should dislike it. Branding agile critics as “lazy” is not a good idea in my eyes, most of them are right and rather need understanding and help from the agile community. There are very few developers that I met who truly hate agile, some do because they hide in the system and would be exposed for what they are, but it’s transparency what they fear more than agile values.

    Greetings from Sweden!

    PS: Thanks for the links Jordan, great blog! :)

    • peter
      April 22, 2011 at 9:14 am #

      Thanks for the comments as always ‘pichat’. You’re right, putting out blanket statements and branding people… never helps your cause!

    • Dagfinn Parnas
      April 25, 2011 at 3:45 am #

      As mentioned above, I’m not trying to brand any critic of scrum as lazy. The video was a response to a statement from an analyst that claimed “developers hate scrum” when one of the CO-CEOs of SAP stated the benefits they’ve had introducing lean and scrum. Me and Twan was surprised of this as it didn’t match our experience, and we tried to find an example of why people might hate scrum.

      “some do because they hide in the system and would be exposed for what they are”
      This is exactly the people I wanted to call out, that would resist the change involved in scrum. I used the word lazy, but it is probably a bit inprecise.

      • peter
        April 25, 2011 at 10:42 am #

        Thanks for all your feedback Dagfinn! It really helps bring some context to the whole discussion~

      • Jordan Bortz
        April 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

        Dagfinn:

        You still don’t seem to understand the difference between any and every. “I’m not trying to brand ANY critic of scrum as lazy.”

        Of course you are. At least the “lazy” ones. What you probably meant to say here is “I’m not trying to brand EVERY critic of scrum as lazy.”

        Additionally “Me and Twan” is completely incorrect english. The reason I point this out is on your thread you seem to be arguing with me about misreading one of my statements, and the same issues are at play as what you just posted above.

        Getting back to the point, what I hear you saying is, “I tried to explain to my boss why people don’t like scrum and so then I said that (at least some) of them are lazy”.

        Now what we have is, a video trying to please your boss, saying that those lazy developers (whether they are all or some seems to be in dispute) don’t like scrum.

        What you seem to be saying here, is of all the things you thought people wouldn’t like scrum about, that lazy is one of the first things that popped into your mind.

        That is such a common pattern. They don’t like it becaues they are lazy. They don’t like it because they aren’t team players. Etc.

        This is very troubling to me that the knee jerk reaction is that they don’t like it because of a “personality defect”, not that they don’t like it because they know that scrum is simplistic and banal, or that they don’t like scrum because of scrum itself.

        Noone introspects into what is wrong with scrum itself that people don’t like, they just seem to pin the blame on the developers being somehow deficient in some area and therefore it is the developers and not scrum that is to blame.

        Jordan

        • Jordan Bortz
          April 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

          Additionally, I do have to point out, regardless how one attempts to spin what %age of developers are lazy, and therefore “hate scrum”, that this is a guilt by association technique.

          If “Lazy” developers hate scrum, then if anyone complains about scrum, they may be perceived as “lazy”.

          This guilt by association (you’re “waterfall”! you’re “lazy!”) is a deplorable yet widely used antipattern.

          Scrum has a variety of adjectives to tar and feather people who have legitimate concerns about the process. Lazy, not a team player, “motley versus maven” on the msft agile website, “rusty” being the non scrum player.

          If it’s such a great technique, and encompasses such respect for developers, why so many constant attempts to paint non believers as backwards lazy non team players?

          And why is this technique such a cornerstone of the marketing effort?

          Jordan

  15. Charles Smith
    June 10, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    No, it’s not just “lazy Engineers”: *MOST* really creative Engineers absolutely HATE this “agile” thing. Managers, of course, love it. Engineers just don’t dare say anything for fear of losing our jobs in this lousy economy (yes: they’re willing to fire *everyone*: even the creative ones).

    Unfortunately, this so-called “agile” revolution did for software-development the same de-humanizing, humiliating transformation that assembly-line manufacturing did for other work long ago. We used to feel pride in our creativity, but now feel instead micro-managed and hyper-controlled: … I used to love my job, but I absolutely hate it!.

    • peter
      June 10, 2011 at 12:32 am #

      And I completely understand your sentiments.
      Maybe we just need to do “programming”
      http://agilescout.com/programming-do-you-speak-it/

    • David Clarke
      June 10, 2011 at 4:50 am #

      How’s the weather up there on planet Charles? I’m happy for you to speak for yourself but I think you’re stretching it to think you can speak for *MOST* developers, sorry *MOST* “creative Engineers”. Plus I have yet to meet a manager who likes Agile. Managers like to be told that something will take a specific amount of time and will cost a specific amount of money. Then when the project exceeds both time/dollars managers get to beat up on the developers. Agile allows me to say up front that I don’t really know how long this is going to take but tell me how much money you want to spend and we can deliver something useful to that budget. And based on empirical data we can give you an indication of how long it might take, with greater accuracy as the work progresses. Developing software is a creative enterprise and big-A Agile gives me a real focus on creation and delivering a quality product. I’m going to call you out and suggest the reason you dislike Agile is because you hide behind your creativity and take longer than you should to produce something of value.

      • peter
        June 10, 2011 at 8:18 am #

        David, thanks for the comments. Would it be a fair statement to say that many (both manager and developer alike) have been burned by poor implementation of Agile or even more, a poor representation of what “good” agile really is?

        I think, if pressed hard enough, both managers and developers can see the value in Agile. It’s a matter of getting the fuller picture… maybe. :)

        • David Clarke
          June 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

          Peter I can only comment from my experience. I’ve never been involved in a great implementation of Agile. I have however been involved in a number of projects that have used Agile in some form or other. The results have been far better for both developers and managers than using traditional processes, despite only using a very basic Scrum process. In one case a project was struggling to get any traction and the business was getting hot under the collar. Introducing Scrum helped dramatically defuse tension and ultimately deliver a good outcome. Scrum is not a form of micro-management simply because it is the developers that are the drivers.

      • Alex
        October 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

        “Agile allows me to say up front that I don’t really know how long this is going to take”

        No it does not, otherwise you would only have one card in your planning poker deck: the question mark. The fact is, it is ludicrous to even try to estimate how long something will take, without agreeing on a spec first.

  16. Bubak
    June 10, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    Again, agile (Scrum) is just another form of micromanagement. Daily meetings, daily estimates…
    And connection you are trying to suggest ‘lazy developer’ = ‘hate agile’ is just plain bullshit.

  17. Kim C
    June 15, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    So, when did you stop beating your wife?

    That’s pretty much what the lame assertion (lazy developers hate agile) amounts to. A process that requires years of meetings about how to have meetings, um, ‘scrums’ – well, you’d think a company would realize that they’re pursuing a failed procedure. But then again, management LOVES meetings, so maybe not. Also, project management that requires new, made up catch phrases usually inherently sucks.

    ~ a hard working developer who thinks agile is just another stupid management fad.

  18. ihatescrum
    October 17, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    “Lazy developers hate scrum” — I suppose that’s true, given that lazy-medium-talented-every developer (and QA) all hate scrum. Everyone hates scrum, so yes, it’s true lazy developers hate scrum, because they are a subset of ‘everyone’.

    • John Quincy
      October 23, 2011 at 9:39 am #

      Ironically, it has been my experience that the weak programmers love scrum. They are ‘given’ a list of tasks to do (no critical thinking necessary), they are only ‘allowed’ to work 7 hours a day (or it will skew the velocity/capacity calculations), and when they are late or their crap does not work, they are not held accountable because the ‘team’ is ultimately responsible.

      I do understand why companies go to scrum, however. The seminars and presentations are very, very powerful. Full of shit, but still very powerful. The CIOs/CTOs become mesmerized as they are being told this is the ‘holy grail’, the ‘silver bullet’, the ‘one size fits all’ methodology that ‘everyone is doing’.

      I came across this video that does a great job capturing that sentiment! http://agilescout.com/video-i-need-agile-methodology/

      John

      • peter
        October 23, 2011 at 9:43 am #

        I never though of ‘shit’ being so powerful… but now that you say it that way… I can see it ! :)

  19. vlad102
    October 26, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    I find that often scrum masters emphasize the ‘team’ aspect because they are so useless as an individual.

    Scrum attracts people with a Napoleon complex (hello SCRUM ‘masters’), that have no clue about how to actually write code or come up with original ideas of their own. This has been my experience.

  20. Paul
    December 21, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    I would say that lazy developers LOVE scrum.
    No need to document development, either in the code or in formal design documentation.

    • peter
      December 21, 2011 at 9:53 am #

      HA! You crack me up.

  21. David Ziffer
    April 4, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Yeah yeah Agile and Scrum. Right up there with Cold Fusion and Bernie Madoff. Don’t lose heart, folks. There is another way: http://www.projectpro.com/CIO/AnotherWay.aspx

    • peter
      April 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

      A personal resume post? Hmmm

    • Galaxis
      July 8, 2012 at 2:37 am #

      Here here! You could hear developers rejoice w/ agile that they didn’t havbe to do documentation up front and could just dive right in – relying on some elusive/mythical “refactoring” effort to solve everything. Then the reality fish comes around and slaps everyone in the face; purposely putting off what you know for later is just “dum” – and undermines the whole purpose of lgetting better at knowing more things up front! It is after all, a finite set. I hate when the industry abandons processes they were just getting good at for the next fad. Agile was never (at least should never have been) an excuse to get lazy up front.

  22. John
    September 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    This is not just about to be lazy but drive your work on your own. Some people started a career in development because they had some freedom and the ability to engage themselves in interesting projects that made them happy to go to work. Now with agile you start your day thinking what you will have to say about what you’ve done yesterday instead of focusing on the fun stuff you want to start today. Instead of having a end goal you have with agile to focus on small tasks that are just not interesting. Agile make developers going to the production lane like manufacturers workers while developers are looking for a lot more freedom to express their creativity.
    At the end I would be interested how many developers quit development because of agile. Maybe the bad developers left you will say? Well are you sure? We need talents. Are the talents interested to be macro managed to design a button or a drop down windows?. No, talents want to have to power of doing things the way they think it should be. Agile is not that fun for developers in my opinion.

    • Plantain
      September 19, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

      TRUST ME when I tell you this.

      The bad and lazy ones will stay.

      The good ones will leave. Because they have options.

  23. rf
    October 9, 2012 at 4:23 am #

    Agile treats expert software engineers as children.

    And if they don’t like it it is because they are lazy ?? What ?

    The truth is and has always been that engineers build, they create, they make. Without engineers there is NO product.

    “Managers” aren’t intelligent enough to be engineers, and spend their time justifying their salary by creating “new initiatives”. Agile/Scrum being one of them.

    The “Managers” who don’t know anything feel a bit better by their lack of understanding, by creating a situation where they can treat the experts like children, every day at 9AM.

    This situation does not help the Engineers or the Managers.

    This is why Developers would be happy if Agile Managers got run over on the weekend and didn’t come to work on Monday.

    • Vlad102
      October 10, 2012 at 1:43 am #

      LOL. So true. It’s the equivalent of a secretary rounding up the lawyers in her office every morning and asking them what they’ve accomplished yesterday and what they plan of accomplishing today.

      I think the lawyers know how to handle it without her, just as the engineers know what needs to be done. The secretary should just make coffee, bring lunch and organize the files not bother with stuff that is way above her head.

  24. ReBytes
    November 2, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    SCRUM’s (agile’s) biggest problem is the implementation of “lazy” management processes. It is true that developers can feel they are put on the spot, but the management processes that is implemented today is far apart from the original ideas. People have the misconception that agile mean you can take short-cuts to cut overhead in management and therefore have more time to develop. In actual fact you are cutting management overhead and have more time to waste.

    For SCUM to return to its roots it can learn a thing or two from a more unknown agile methodology called evolutionary delivery management (EVO). Go read up on Gilb’s paper on EVO and suddenly all the confusing parts of SCRUM and XP that project managers found too hard to understand and then decided to cut out of the process, will start to make sense.

  25. erik.reppen
    December 23, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    It’s very obvious who scrum is being sold to and it’s not engineers. Standups are actually the one thing I generally value in Agile methodology. Scrum, however, is snake oil and a useless time sync. You’ll never hear the words ‘technical debt’ as often when they start telling you about Scrum. That’s because maintaining your app is the first casualty of bringing ‘the product owner’ into the engineer conference room and promising the arrogant twit a product will “ship” every two weeks. Who runs the Scrums? Usually the most useless piece of middle-management fluff in the shop because everyone who can actually do things is scrambling to make sure they aren’t the ones threatening the precious curve. Daily standups are great. Setting goals and taking steps to improve estimates is a reasonable endeavor. Insisting on making a bi-weekly iron-clad promise to people who have no business being involved at the ground floor is a recipe for long-term disaster, especially if your organization was having mismanagement problems in the first place.

    • peter
      December 24, 2012 at 12:05 am #

      For sure!

  26. lazy ass truth-telling muther
    March 13, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    I was thinking, well linux, bsd, apache, rails, ruby, php, postfix, mysql etc etc. prove that extremely good collaborative high-quality work can take place with remote workers over IRC and USENET-of-old with no physical presence required and no specific project management methodology. Just really effing good people. Therefore, flexible work from home policies and no rigid scrum should work fine in the workplace…

    But wait, open source developers are really really really really really good workers. What we actually get to work with in the typically fully-funded-out-the-ass boondoggle is a bunch lyin ass lazy mutherfockers. So we need the yoke of Scrum under those circumstances I’m afraid… this is not rock and roll and we are not stars.

  27. Bob
    March 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    so i am a lazy developer. i create highly scalable architecture with fraction of the cost running in production. i prefer to write automation scripts. i prefer to write my code just once. i actually delivery result under the time frame people think it is unreal.

    if your team depends on scrum to deliver, you have seriously hired the wrong people or created a mediocre team. however, i can see that being the case for most established companies. you can’t except everyone to give you 200% since at the end of the day they just work there. so let me rephrase, if you are a startup and relies on scrum, you are in serious troubles.

    • Bob2
      March 31, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      I work for a startup that relies on scrum. Our entire code-base is a dogs breakfast and the company will probably go under soon.

  28. Dev 001
    August 6, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    You don’t have to be lazy to hate SCRUM. Personally I like to learn new technologies, test new ideas that are not 100% related to some predefined task in the current iteration. And there’s no room for real research when you always have to meet some deadline. I like to work sometimes (of course not all the time) on a personal research project that forces me to do things that I wouldn’t usually do. I don’t like working on a project that is almost feature complete. And let’s face it, in a big company the project started years ago (in my case decades ago) and there are people protecting every line of code so developers don’t F**K it up, so no crazy ideas can be tested on that project. It’s invaluable for a programmer to gain knowledge that is not always work related. As I see it, when a programmer stops learning new technologies (or just a limited set), and does only what he’s told to do he gets out of the business pretty fast PERIOD

  29. Alan
    November 26, 2013 at 6:02 am #

    I think it’s just the opposite – lazy developers love Agile and Scrum because it allows them the opportunity to pretend to make progress every day with the knowledge that they can just push what they didn’t finish off to the next sprint. Every time I’ve seen a successful group of programmers shoved into the Scrum box it was for the purpose of trying to hide the fact that the bad, or just plain lazy programmers couldn’t carry their weight. Punish everyone because of the actions of a few.

    • peter
      November 27, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      Wow, this sounds… highly dysfunctional.
      Regardless of what “framework” or “methodology” of development you use, if people aren’t aligned… aren’t working together effectively… it doesn’t matter!

      Waterfall would work PERFECTLY if everybody did it 100% together…

  30. John Doe
    January 23, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    Lazy developers also happen to be the best developers. There is a book on the 80/20 rule which stays that the lazy and intelligent people are the most effective and contributing members whereas the stupid and hardworking and the lowest common denominator. A lazy programmer will always come up with the most efficient solution to solving a problem because of his laziness vs some dumb programmer who would spend weeks coding a stylesheet and reporting his daily progress on scrum.

    This is the category of people:
    1) Lazy & Intelligent / Usually highest paid
    2) Hardworking & Intelligent / Lowest paid
    3) Hardworking & Stupid / Must be fired immediately
    4) Hardworking & Lazy / They don’t hurt anyone

    2-3 fall in the agile category.

    • peter
      January 24, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

      LOL! I LOVE IT! Please send me data to support this. It’s worth blogging about!

    • Plantain
      September 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      Lazy developers don’t question anything.

      Specifically, they don’t question Agile and Scrum.

  31. Alex Moschopoulos
    February 28, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of meetings…mainly because too many are an effective waste of time when a phone call or email would have sufficed.

    I think in some companies, daily or a few times a week is needed. In many cases though, maybe weekly would be ideal.

    I just know that if folks are sitting in meetings looking at phones/tablets, working off laptops, not paying attention, looking at watches wondering when this ends…then you know there is something wrong.

    And no…it doesn’t mean workers are lazy and/or “not team players”. Most of the time it means they have decided there is more important work to be done and said meeting is only keeping them from it.

  32. fuckscrum
    April 28, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    and dumb developers love it. it makes them proud as they get to mark off the shit that pours out of their feeble brains every day as “progress”.

    • Plantain
      September 19, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      Not really dumb per se…. crafty perhaps. Just learn quick how to play the game.

  33. AntiAgile
    May 24, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    I was wondering whether other people hate agile as much as I do.

    Primarily it aims to turn professional people into interchangeable resource – much like the discredited time and motion studies.

    Secondly, it normally applies to the grunt work that needs to be done after the more interesting: strategic thinking, research and planning have finished.

    • Plantain
      September 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      And the people doing the “strategic thinking” have no experience or background in software development… so what could possibly go wrong?

  34. Jo Smith
    June 20, 2014 at 5:53 am #

    What about lazy managers?
    Managers who:
    * do not think through the tasks they assign people
    * want everything done yesterday
    * have arbitrary/ outdated procedures in place that they will not consider altering
    * make drastic and far reaching decisions without considering or even looking at the data

    SCRUM can highlight these things but unfortunately the managers can just blame lazy developers or say we are not doing SCRUM right or say SCRUM does not fit here.

  35. real developers hate scrum.
    July 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    Real deverlopers hate scrum.
    real developers compile requirements and scenarios
    real developers compile gui and ux
    real developers cannot be destracted when in flow and write code.

    scrum is for pretentious cocks wanne be managers and who cannot differentiate quality from quantity

    all other roles are derived to let developers write more code and those other people cannot write descend code

    thats why they have to review the design the test case planning and business cases but no other People ever read code. So never insult real developers by calling them lazy unless You are a real Developer yourself. You dont understand the meaning of the word lazy.

  36. Plantain
    September 19, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Did anyone ever wonder why there is an entire industry built around “Agile” and “SCRUM”? Was there ever an entire industry built around “Waterfall”?

    Ever feel like you’ve been cheated?

  37. Douglas
    September 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    I dislike the whole Agile process. I develop self-documenting, well-thought out, reusable, scalable, bug-free solutions that exceed the customers’ expectations by due dates. Have been doing that for a long time. Scrum wastes my time – it is just a status meeting. I could’ve been developing during that time.

    I keep in close contact with customers and flex requirements to meet their ever-changing needs. I let project managers and those with an interest in my work (customers, other developers, BA’s, etc) know what is going on via brief and/or detailed emails and through needed and/or daily conversation.

    Only give ballpark estimates – a great percentage of time I come in on time of what was estimated anyways. Planning Poker involves people to provide estimates on stories they have no clue about. Yeah, give it a 3 – I know you don’t realize all the development/collaberation needed to do the work.

    The five companies I’ve been at that have used Agile always add new tasks and stories to a Sprint, in the middle of it, and expect it to be delivered regardless of input from the people doing the work (don’t plan anything – it will be overtime this weekend too). Finished? Add many more stories on too – that way you will still have to work OT.

    Projects aren’t about being agile, they are about being pigeon-holed into processes that hinder developers from getting work done.

    Perhaps, I can see this sort of micro-managing good for those who are lousy, slow, and incompentent developers who don’t follow good programming practices, don’t unit test their work, and don’t provide the solutions requested by customers in the timeframe requested. For the rest, leave us out of it.

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