If you’ve been keeping up with our blog posts and live updates, you’ll know that Digitex follows the Agile software development process. In this article, we explain what that means and why it makes a logical choice for Digitex.
What Is Meant by Agile?
What is Agile? There’s a pretty good clue in the name! After all, being “agile” allows a person or team to move quickly and respond to changes and challenges. We often talk about athletes as being agile. And when it comes to development, the ability to respond to requests and power forward comes in extremely handy.
However, development is a complex process and there are no cookie-cutter solutions, particularly when it comes to ground-breaking technology. At Digitex, delivering a solid working product has been our priority from day one and many of you are aware of the complexity involved with delivering a blockchain futures exchange run with its own native cryptocurrency.
At the end of the day, developers following Agile always strive to meet the needs of their customers. But they would never compromise the quality of a product to meet a deadline.
As we’ve discovered while developing our first-of-its-kind commission-free exchange, following an Agile software development process doesn’t mean that teams never experience delays. Since Agile allows for changes, upgrades, and add-ons to be constantly implemented, sometimes the completion deadline needs to be extended.
Let’s take a closer look at why our programmers follow Agile and what our chief system architect has to say about it.
A Closer Look at Agile
Rather than just a development process, Agile is a way of thinking. In fact, there are 12 guiding principles behind the Agile Manifesto. These include satisfying customers, embracing change, fostering team collaboration, and building timely projects around motivated individuals.
To adhere to the Agile process, a team needs to be on the same page, understand the pressures of working on a demanding project like Digitex, and coming up with the best way to respond to feedback and challenges.
Not all developers follow an Agile process. There are plenty of alternatives, including SAP, and Spiral Development, although it’s generally considered an industry best standard when developing software today.
What Is Agile Software Development?
Agile software development involves several technical processes and frameworks. These include what is known as Extreme Programming, Scrum, and Feature-Driven Development (FDD). But without getting in too deep, Agile is basically a set of industry standard software development practices for programmers and software engineers.
Some of the key features of Agile involve pair programming, planning sessions, test-driven development, and sprints. Sprints are cycles in which upgrades are made to the software and their length is determined by the developers.
As we mentioned in our January AMA with Adam, during the Beta version, our team is working in three-weekly sprints. They will likely need three complete sprints before the public launch in quarter two.
Digitex chief system architect Donal Gaffney explains, “Agile is seen as the defacto standard in all software development for a number of reasons. The iterative nature of Agile development means features are delivered incrementally, enabling some benefits to be realized early as the product continues to develop. Moreover, agility in projects allows input at any phase in the project from stakeholders.”
This means that Digitex programmers can implement user feedback faster and with greater flexibility than by following a more rigid development process. There is no set date by which all requirements must be delivered–following Agile allows the product to develop along with market trends and user requests.
“A key principle of Agile development is that testing is integrated throughout the lifecycle,” Donal says. “Constant demos encourage feedback and input from key stakeholders and agility allows us to implement these suggestions at any project stage. Constant feedback from clients means that the product approaches the required output.”
Agile Frameworks and Practices – Focusing on Team Collaboration
As mentioned above, Agile has 12 core principles behind it. Adhering to Agile software development also means that developers have to think in a like-minded way as the creators of this process.
For example, if you’re the type of person who likes to work in isolation, is resistant to change, and doesn’t like other departments to provide feedback, Agile development isn’t for you.
There’s a strong focus on team collaboration here. Following this software development process means that you have to practice its values in your life in general.
When building a system as robust and sophisticated as Digitex Futures, for example, we knew that we needed a team that could respond quickly and would interact constantly with Adam. Digitex Futures is an exchange built by traders, for traders. The continued cooperation between Adam and the team is reflected in every feature of the exchange.
Another key feature of Agile is its focus on self-organizing yet cross-functional teams. Of course, this can be adapted depending on the needs and size of the company. In our case, the Digitex development team is still small. This means that Digitex developers are self-organizing yet able to collaborate with others.
This takes away the need for a hierarchy as such since each developer is given the space to figure out the best way to approach a problem. Rather than have specific roles with limited functions, each of our staff has multiple skill sets so that we can respond quickly and collaborate well as a team in every sprint.
Donal says, “Multiple people can work on various features within a sprint. These features can be provided for demonstration at the end of the sprint. If these are suitable they are integrated into the product as is.”
Digitex Is Bringing on More Programmers
We’re aware that we let our community down by having to delay onboarding to the Beta version and we don’t want that to happen again. So that we can ensure on-track launch for early Q2 of the public exchange, we’re growing our development department.
All new team members will follow the Agile process and collaborate with one another, lending key insights and helping us provide a world-class product with additional features faster. Scaling up the development team means that we can deliver you the game-changing commission-free exchange as promised.
As Donal explained, one of the best parts of Agile is that testing is involved throughout every sprint. This means that upgrades are ready for users once they are rolled into the system. When we open our doors to the public in quarter two, it will be with a secure, ultra-fast exchange and trading interface that will change the way people trade for good.