Why Indie Software Developers Need to Embrace Agile

[Guest Post] – Jimmy Wentz is a budding freelance tech writer, gadget and gaming enthusiast, and social media junkie. He writes regularly about O2 and the latest news in the tech, gaming, and social media world.

The Agile approach to development is a series of processes that enables software developers to complete a variety of tasks, or to simply do them more efficiently. People come around to the Agile way of thinking because it’s a process that allows for rapid release, for better and more immediate ROI, and for a larger user base when completed. So why should indies consider Agile?

Working Examples of Software Potential

There are a lot of paid alpha and beta approaches that indie developers often use to make sure they can get crowd-sourced feedback, but also that there’s money on the table during the development process – and not just at the end of it. Guidance – taken with a pinch of salt – from users during development minimises the risk of surprise disappointment upon release. Agile focuses on collaboration with customers, and this is an ideal model of how that approach can be implemented into the development process.

This ties in neatly to the Agile approach, and if anything proves that the model works. Taking a look at the Agile creed, producing working software for someone over simply handing them a written description and mock-ups is a powerful tool when it comes to gaining investment and demonstrating potential. Indie developers often have potential in their ideas and prototypes, and a working concept that can be played with gives a better idea of that potential – mock-ups can be faked or overly ambitious, after all.

Greater Flexibility

Development schedules are the bane of some developers’ existences. It’s not that they’re not useful, but some of them are so rigid that the developer is doomed to be unable to adapt to anything going wrong or any major changes to the software.

As an indie developer, things are going to fluctuate all the time – you’re probably a sole individual or a small team, and while you need to be even more organized than you would in a large company, it also means that roles can switch and shift rapidly with a minimum of disruption.

Agile embraces this approach. While there is an overall goal – the delivery date – everything else is fluid, and there are less hindrances as a result. This is vital, if you’re a small team and don’t have a secondary team to deal with any obstructions.

Keeping Your Spirits High

Working as an independent developer is going to be hard on you, both as an individual or as a member of a team. Working independently carries with it a high level of risk, and with that, pressure. Some developers put their financial stability, careers and sanity on the line for a chance to release successful software.

Agile focuses on maintaining developer morale. It’s about working smarter, not harder – about building a business model that can be sustained, that becomes more profitable over time. Minimizing risk and bringing more structure to a business is going to make developers feel more secure, and happier as a result.

Final Thoughts

If you’re considering the Agile approach as an indie, you could do no better. It’s a system designed to work well for any software developer, and the above examples show how adaptable the processes within Agile development are – always suitable to your set-up and personal methods. Do better – use Agile.


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