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Genesis and Evolution of the Agile Movement in Brazil -- Perspective from Academia and Industry

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Agile software development methods have been increasingly adopted worldwide and became one of the mainstream software development approaches. Agile methods have also had an impact on software engineering education with universities adapting their courses to accommodate this new point of view of software development. Software engineering research has tried to evaluate the impact of agile methods in industrial projects and discover in which situations it is beneficial to apply such methods. However, there are still few studies focusing on the progress of the Agile Movement in Brazil.In this paper, we present an overview of the evolution of the Agile Movement in Brazil, outlining the history of its first advocates in academia and industry. We also describe existing educational initiatives and the impact of agile development on the national research and present a report on the agile state-of- the-practice in the Brazilian IT industry.
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Genesis and Evolution of the
Agile Movement in Brazil
Perspective from Academia and Industry
Hugo Corbucci, Alfredo Goldman, Eduardo Katayama,
Fabio Kon, Claudia Melo and Viviane Santos
Department of Computer Science
Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
University of S
˜
ao Paulo, Brazil
{corbucci, gold, eduardo, kon, claudia, vsantos}@ime.usp.br
Abstract—Agile software development methods have been in-
creasingly adopted worldwide and became one of the mainstream
software development approaches. Agile methods have also had
an impact on software engineering education with universities
adapting their courses to accommodate this new point of view of
software development. Software engineering research has tried
to evaluate the impact of agile methods in industrial projects and
discover in which situations it is beneficial to apply such methods.
However, there are still few studies focusing on the progress of
the Agile Movement in Brazil.
In this paper, we present an overview of the evolution of
the Agile Movement in Brazil, outlining the history of its first
advocates in academia and industry. We also describe existing
educational initiatives and the impact of agile development on
the national research and present a report on the agile state-of-
the-practice in the Brazilian IT industry.
I. INTRODUCTION
The birth of the Agile Movement around the year 2000 was
a consequence of a variety of factors, ideas, and proposed best
practices that arose mainly in the context of object-oriented
programming (OOP). These ideas echoed previous work such
as The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering
by Frederick P. Brooks [Bro75] and the concept of rapid
prototyping [NJ82]. Multiple research and practitioner groups
gathered in larger communities, such as the one around the
ACM International Conference on Object-Oriented Program-
ming, Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA) and
produced ideas that led to the development of the concept of
agile software development.
The role of the Smalltalk programming language com-
munity was also fundamental. Three important points from
that community led to changes. The first was its minimal
syntax that let programmers write code that looked like
natural language sentences. The second was its dynamic typing
that provided high flexibility. Lastly a powerful programming
environment centered around its dynamic and flexible class
browser that influenced modern IDEs. Through those aspects,
Smalltalk fostered the development of the technology and the
spirit that enabled a different way of developing software.
In the second half of the 1990s, research and practical
results in the fields of OOP, design patterns, automated testing,
refactoring, and the like, produced a common mind set that
drove the definition of multiple software development methods
that had the core agile principles in common. These methods
include Extreme Programming (XP), Scrum, DSDM, Adaptive
Software Development, Crystal, Feature-Driven Development,
Pragmatic Programming, and others.
In early 2001, a group of independent practitioners with a
strong link with the software industry and a weaker, but still
relevant, link with research groups from academia decided to
join forces and founded what was later called the Agile Move-
ment. To make these ideas more concrete, 17 software experts
met from February 11th to 13th in the mountains of Utah,
USA to collectively craft the Agile Manifesto
1
. The goal of
the manifesto was to bring attention to the idea that, to produce
high-quality, valuable software, development teams must focus
on (1) individuals and interactions, (2) working software, (3)
customer collaboration, and (4) responding to change. Those
points were presented as more important than emphasizing
processes and tools, comprehensive documentation, contract
negotiation, and following previously-defined plans.
II. THE GENESIS
Agile methods and the Agile Movement itself became
known worldwide in 1999, the year in which Kent Beck’s
XP book [Bec99] was published and released during the
ACM OOPSLA conference in Denver, Colorado. In 2000,
the 1st International Conference on eXtreme Programming
and Agile Processes in Software Engineering (XP’2000) took
place in Sardinia, Italy. At this time, a few Brazilian software
developers from academia and industry got in touch with the
movement. Klaus Wuestefeld, a software developer working
in the Brazilian software industry attended XP’2000 and met
key figures from the movement, such as Kent Beck, Alistair
Cockburn, Martin Fowler, Ron Jeffries, and Robert Martin
(a.k.a., Uncle Bob). Fabio Kon was at OOPSLA in 1999
and 2000, attended Beck’s talks and got involved with the
big frisson that XP and agile methods made during those
1
www.agilemanifesto.org
conferences. Immediately after the 1999 event, he went back
to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champain, where he
was a post-doctoral research associate, and started to apply
extreme programming practices and give talks about Beck’s
new book.
Kon came back to Brazil in January, 2001, and soon gave
a talk about extreme programming at the Department of
Computer Science at IME, University of S
˜
ao Paulo. After a
few months, with Prof. Alfredo Goldman and Prof. Carlos
Eduardo Ferreira, they decided to experiment with a full-
semester course on extreme programming in which students
would develop real software projects using all the XP practices
rigorously. This Extreme Programming Laboratory elective
course (see http://www.ime.usp.br/
xp) became popular with
the students rapidly. After 10 years, in 2011, over 300 students
attended the course and questionnaires filled out by partici-
pants show that the course is very well evaluated by students,
who often mention it to be the best course in their curriculum.
Most of these students go out to work in the software industry
shortly after the course, and often start to disseminate agile
methods in their organizations. Several course alumni such
as Alexandre Freire, Dairton Bassi Filho, and Danilo Sato,
started to act as consultants and project leaders and helped to
introduce agile methods in software development companies.
In the years after 2001, Wuestefeld, Kon, Goldman, and
Vin
´
ıcius Teles gave several lectures and short courses on
extreme programming and agile methods to the Brazilian
academic and industrial communities. This was fundamental
in disseminating the practical use of these methods in real
software development projects in Brazil.
By that time, in the industry, Wuestefeld was organizing
Extreme Programming Brasil 2002, which marked the first
agile event in Brazil as well as Kent Beck’s first and only
visit to the country. It was held in S
˜
ao Paulo during 3 days
at the beginning of December and had Scott Ambler and Rob
Mee along with Kent Beck as international guests. Kon and
Goldman presented their experience with the course on XP at
the University of S
˜
ao Paulo, while Vin
´
ıcius Teles presented his
experience on a similar initiative at the Federal University of
Rio de Janeiro. A couple of years later, Wuestefeld managed
to put together Extreme Programming Brasil 2004 and brought
Mary and Tom Poppendieck with the support of several
companies. Agile methods were starting to gain strength both
in the academia and in the industry.
III. AGILE METHODS EDUCATION
There were several initiatives on promoting agile methods
in Brazil within the Academia. The oldest and still running
one is probably the course Extreme Programing Laboratory at
IME-USP
2
. It occurs once a year, during a full semester for
Computer Science undergraduate and graduate students. The
first edition was in 2001 when three professors gave the course
for a dozen students. Since then, the course has evolved and
2
http://www.ime.usp.br/
xp/projects.php
scaled up to eight concurrent projects and teams over fifty stu-
dents. To support such growth, former students are encouraged
to assume a coaching role in the following editions. This way,
the laboratory replicates a meritocracy system similar to the
industry and allows some very experienced students to assume
teaching assistant roles and work as meta-coaches during
the courses. As meta-coaches, the experienced students are
supposed to serve as gurus for all groups providing feedback,
supervising the practices and helping with the adoption of new
practices.
To set up a closer to real environment, the XP customers
are chosen from several university requests or open source
projects. All the systems developed are available as free soft-
ware. The course starts with three weeks of theoretical classes,
when the basics of agile methods and XP are introduced; then,
the students can choose the projects they are willing to work
on. Usually, each project gets from four to eight participants; if
there is no experienced student on the group, a coach is elected
among the volunteers. The groups without an experienced
coach receive more attention from the meta-coaches. A tracker
or group of trackers is also elected. The initial practices
adopted on the start of the projects are the 12 from the first
edition of the XP book; in addition, daily stand-up meetings
and informative workspaces are also used. All teams have
to carry out retrospectives at the end of each iteration. To
grade the students, an average of grades for attendance, pro-
active participation, tracking, customer satisfaction, along with
personal, coach, and meta-coach evaluation is calculated.
With the success of the first editions of IME-USP XP
laboratory, a presentation on its concept was given in the
Brazilian Quality Symposium in 2002, a forum where good
teaching ideas and techniques are spread among different
Universities, during the annual congress of the Brazilian
Computer Society (SBC). Later on, using the course as
a test bed, several scientific publications were produced,
addressing multiple topics, from working software such as
Archimedes [CB07], Mezuro [MSM
+
10], [TCM
+
10] and
Mico [SAK
+
04] to experiments on teaching XP [GKSY04]
or XP related techniques [BG10]. Three recent papers on
tracking [OG11], continuous improvement [SG10] and orga-
nizational learning [SG11] also used the XP lab environment.
A similar initiative on teaching XP was lead by Vin
´
ıcius
Teles at UFRJ, starting in the second semester of 2002. The
approach used by Teles was different. There were two parts on
each lecture: first a theoretical one in which the students had to
answer questions orally based on the material provided earlier.
For the practical part, instead of having a project for each
team during the whole course, several short exercises on each
practice were proposed. The motivation was to reinforce the
learning of each practice, always practicing pair programming.
Each day, the pairs were randomly chosen. The grades were
mainly given based on the attendance and on the answers.
It is interesting to observe that other prominent center on
Agile Research, Federal University of Recife (UFPE), used
a different approach. Instead of having an initial focus on
education, they started from the beginning with research. On
2003, two master science works related to agile methods
and one term undergraduate paper were presented. Since
then, there has been an increasing number of graduate and
undergraduate works, including those from other universities
as Federal Rural University of Recife (UFRPE).
On the industry side, we can cite Caelum’s example, a
Brazilian company which business includes both training and
software development. Caelum has several short courses on
Java and object-oriented techniques. The company has started
a course about Scrum on 2007, and two months later a course
about XP. However, the XP course was shortly discontinued
since there was not enough industrial demand at that time.
Later on, in early 2010, the Scrum course was reformulated
to talk about agile methods in general, focusing mainly on
the management practices. By the end of the same year, a
new course was formulated in order to cover more technical
practices such as unit and acceptance tests, test-driven devel-
opment, and refactoring.
In 2006, as agile methods started to explode, some pro-
fessors and students at IME-USP decided to offer a summer
course to promote those ideas beyond the limits of the univer-
sity. It was a 20 hours theoretical course spread along 5 days
with 2 instructors each day. The result was a success and all
teaching material was published at the Agilcoop website
3
to
be used freely. The following three years continued to offer
the course and added different courses such as an eXtreme
Programming Laboratory to offer a more practical approach
and a testing course to study that subject more deeply. During
this time, over 200 people attended the theoretical course, over
60 attended the practical course and around 50 were in the
testing course.
Another important player in the agile methods growth was
the method known as Scrum [SB01]. Although it has its origins
earlier than XP, it became very widely known only around
2006 when Scrum Alliance
4
(a non-profitable organization)
became a corporate entity and started a certification process to
gather professionals which attended their criteria. The alliance
offers several certification stamps which can be given only by
certified trainers. Until August 2008, all certifications given
in Brazil were offered by foreign trainers in English. That
date marks the first Brazilian Certified Scrum Trainer (CST),
Alexandre Magno. The certification fulfilled an important
hole to the industry as it presented a way to prove the
knowledge of companies regarding agile methods. Since then,
two other Brazilians, Heitor Roriz and Michel Goldenberg,
obtained the CST certificate and the demand for certified
scrum courses never stopped growing. Recently, a discussion
regarding the certification led to the creation another founda-
tion (Scrum.org
5
) separating Ken Schwaber (Scrum.org) and
Jeff Sutherland (Scrum Alliance) and provoking a rupture
in the Scrum community. This new association also offers
a certification program under a different label (Professional
3
http://ccsl.ime.usp.br/agilcoop/curso
de verao 2007
4
http://www.scrumalliance.org
5
http://www.scrum.org
Scrum Certifications). Giovanni Bassi was the first Brazilian to
obtain the Professional Scrum Master Trainer (PSMT) and the
Professional Scrum Developer Trainer (PSDT) certifications.
Soon, two more Brazilians, Felipe Rodrigues de Almeida and
Victor Hugo de Oliveira, obtained the Professional Scrum
Developer Trainer certificate. This new scenario will certainly
impact the Scrum community but the fact that certification
systems are a success in industry is undeniable and many
people got in touch with agile through these certification
programs.
Another initiative to foster the adoption of agile methods
was done in several editions of the Encontro
´
Agil workshop
6
.
In the first editions, the main focus was on tutorials and panels
to teach or provide working evidence on agile methods and
related techniques. To provide interesting information for a
broad audience, the workshops were divided in three main
categories, Keynote talks usually with an invited speaker, an
advanced track and an introductory track. However, in the last
edition in 2010, there was a major change. Instead of providing
talks, a larger emphasis on open spaces and lightning talks was
given while only workshop with more interactive possibilities
were allowed as long sessions.
Finally, in 2003, a tutorial on agile methods and XP was
presented at SBES. This was the predecesor for a new tutorial
held at SBES on 2011 about agile methods. The new tutorial’s
main motivation is to present evidence on the effectiveness of
agile methods and to show the current challenges.
IV. AGILE METHODS RESEARCH
To the best of our knowledge, the first review of Brazilian
academic papers on agile software development was published
by our group in the Brazilian Workshop on Agile Methods
(WBMA’2011) [GK11]. This paper extends those results.
The first part of the study consisted in identifying re-
searchers working with fields related to agile methods. The
search strategy for researchers included a list of contacts and
hand searches of national conferences proceedings such as
WBMA
7
, ESELAW
8
and WDRA
9
, and international confer-
ences such as Agile
10
and XP
11
. We identified 36 researchers
on agile software development. From 1997 to 2011, they
advised 23 MSc and PhD students. As we can see in Table I,
there seems to be a substantial increase in the interest of
graduate students in the topic of agile methods.
With respect to the kinds of agile methods that have been
studied by the graduated students, we see that most of the
studies identified were on agility in general (12 of 23). Studies
on XP come next, with seven works. Most studies were short,
6 months at most, completed in small teams, with up to seven
6
http://www.encontroagil.com.br
7
Workshop Brasileiro de M
´
etodos
´
Ageis - www.agilebrazil.com/2011/pt/
wbma.php
8
Experimental Software Engineering Latin American Workshop - http://
cibse.inf.puc-rio.br/pt/program eselaw.php
9
Workshop de Desenvolvimento R
´
apido de Aplicac¸
˜
oes - http://promise.cin.
ufpe.br/wdra2011/index.html
10
Agile Conference Series - http://agile2011.agilealliance.org/
11
The last edition of the conference - http://xp2011.org/
TABLE I
ALUMNI AND CURRENT MSCANDPHD STUDENTS.
Former Students Current Students
MSc PhD MSc PhD
23 0 14 4
team members, and conducted in a university setting. Four
themes recurred across the studies: (1) how agile develop-
ment methods are introduced and adopted in companies, (2)
comparison of agile development against an alternative, (3)
human and social factors related to agile development, and
(4) investigation of specific agile practices.
To describe the status of Brazilian research on agile software
development, for each researcher identified, we conducted a
literature search in the Lattes Database
12
. This search strategy
resulted in a total of 2239 unique papers published between
1997 and 2011. During the literature review stage, we noticed
that most of these publications were unrelated to the topic
on which our research was focused. Since the number of
publications was high, we identified the more relevant, as
explained below, and concentrated our review on them. A large
number of the excluded publications was not directly related
to agile software development.
Figure 1 shows the review process and the number of papers
identified at each stage. In Stage 1, all publications from the
researchers identified were selected. We first excluded from
the initial set, works related to panels, summaries of tutorials,
news, and magazines. At Stage 2, we went through the titles
of all studies from Stage 1, to determine their relevance. In
this stage, we excluded 2072 studies that were clearly not
related to agile software development. In Stage 3, we excluded
study if it was unclear from title, abstract, and keywords that it
was related to agile development, which left 105 publications.
Among them, 92 were papers in conference proceedings (88%)
and 13 were journal articles (12%).
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Identify relevant studies
Exclude studies on the
basis of titles
Exclude studies on the
basis of abstracts and
keywords
n = 2239
n = 167
n = 105
Fig. 1. Stages of the selection process
An examination of the state of origin of the publications
shows that most studies are from S
˜
ao Paulo and Pernambuco.
12
http://lattes.cnpq.br
The University of S
˜
ao Paulo has the highest number of publi-
cations, followed by the Federal University of Pernambuco.
Figure 2 presents the institutions that are more frequently
occurring in the search and their relationships. The productions
with equal or similar titles, within the same type and year
of publication, are considered to be collaborations among
researchers.
AESO
EACH-USP
FUMEC
ICMC-USP
IME-USP
ITA
PUC-PR
PUC-RS
UFAM
UFBA
UFMS
UFMG
UFPA
UFPEUFRPE
UFSC
UFSCar
UNICAMP
Unifor
UTFPR
Fig. 2. Network of collaboration among researchers.
A. Current Research on Agile Software Development
To describe the status of current research on agile software
development in Brazil, we conducted a literature search in
the conferences WBMA, ESELAW, WDRA and SBES
13
.We
found 34 Brazilian scientific publications on agile software
development published between 2003 and 2010.
Figure 3 illustrates the trend in publications between 2003
and 2010. The studies fell into three thematic groups: intro-
duction and adoption, use of tools and practices, and percep-
tions of agile methods. Experiences from the usage of agile
software development can be identified mostly in commercial
settings. Although these studies and reports provides necessary
insight into the possibilities and restrictions of agile software
development, concrete data are more difficult to find.
0
1
0 0
8
2
4
19
03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
Publications
Fig. 3. Publications on Agile Software Development in the WBMA,
ESELAW, WDRA and SBES.
The number of Brazilian authors and the number of Brazil-
ian publications in the international scientific literature have
13
Simp
´
osio Brasileiro de Engenharia de Software - http://www.each.usp.br/
cbsoft2011/portugues/sbes/sbes pt.html
grown substantially during the last four years. Figure 4 illus-
trates the trend in international publications between 2003 and
2010. Prior to 2003, no publication was found. Table II gives
an overview of the studies according to publication venue.
We see that the conferences International Conference on Agile
Software Development (XP), Confer
ˆ
encia Latinoamericana de
Inform
´
atica and ESELAW have the largest number of papers.
Most works, 40 of 46 (87%), were published in conferences,
while six (13%) appeared in scientific journals.
0 0 0 0
1
0
3
1 1
3
1 1
4
7
12
11
1
3
1 1
5
7
15
12
03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
Publications
Year
Journal Conference Total
Fig. 4. Brazilian publications in international journals and conferences.
TABLE II
DISTRIBUTION OF BRAZILIAN PUBLICATIONS AFTER PUBLICATION
VENUE AND OCCURRENCE.
Publication Channel
Type
International Conference on Agile Software Development
(XP 20XX)
Conference
19.6%
Conferência Latinoamericana de Informática
Conference
8.7%
ESELAW
Conference
8.7%
Agiles
Conference
6.5%
Conferencia IberoAmericana de Ingeniería de Requisitos
y Ambientes de Software
Conference
6.5%
Innovations in Systems and Software Engineering
Journal
4.3%
International Conference on Agile Manufacturing
Conference
4.3%
International Conference on Software Engineering
Advances
Conference
4.3%
International Workshop On Web Quality
Conference
4.3%
Journal of Systems and Software
Journal
4.3%
Agile Development Conference
Conference
2.2%
European Conference on Computer Supported
Cooperative Work
Conference
2.2%
IEEE International Conference on Global Software
Engineering
Conference
2.2%
Information Resources Management Association
Conference
2.2%
International Conference Information Systems
Conference
2.2%
International conference on quality of information and
communications technology
Conference
2.2%
International Conference on Software Testing
Conference
2.2%
International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing
Systems
Journal
2.2%
Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution
Journal
2.2%
Portland Internaional Center for Management of
Engineering and Technology
Conference
2.2%
Simpósio Internacional de Melhoria de Processo de
Software e de Sistemas
Conference
2.2%
Software and Systems Quality Confernece
Conference
2.2%
Software Engineering Process Group Latin America
Conference
2.2%
V. AGILE METHODS IN INDUSTRY
Despite the fact that agile methods have been increasingly
adopted and have “rapidly joined the mainstream of develop-
ment approaches” [WG10], their adoption in the Brazilian IT
industry has not been studied much in the literature. We aim
to investigate the inception, growth and establishment of agile
methods in this community. For this purpose, we conducted
a survey of agile methods adoption in Brazil in 2011 and
interviews with two acknowledged practitioners, considered
Brazilian agile authorities.
A. Research method
We created a web-based survey
14
consisting of 19 questions,
most of which were based on previous global survey on agile
methods conducted by VersionOne [Ver10]. The main goal is
to take an initial step towards understanding the agile methods
state-of-practice in the Brazilian IT industry. In addition, we
designed a semi-structured interview (Appendix A) to gather
further qualitative data from specialists of the Agile Movement
in Brazil.
When conducting research based on survey, probabilis-
tic sampling of participants allows making inferences about
population characteristics based on sample data. However,
achieving a random sample of Internet users is problematic,
if not impossible [SJ06]. Thus, we used non-probabilistic
sampling techniques, recommended for exploratory research
[SR07]. We combined non-probabilistic sampling techniques,
such as convenience and snowball methods to draw out
our survey participants. For instance, convenience methods
recruit respondents from online communities and discussion
forums. Snowball sampling is based on the practice of asking
participants to refer someone else to the survey, and so on.
We drew out our survey participants from several databases,
such as mailing lists, attendees of past agile conferences, and
Agilcoop
15
business contacts. We sent them an email invitation
to participate in the survey, and also invited their business
contacts. We began the survey data collection in May, 2011
and finished by August, 2011. In this period, we had 466
completed responses.
The interview protocol was constructed from the authors
expertise on the topic in order to develop an understanding
of the phenomenon of study. We invited two Brazilian agile
specialists, Klaus Wuestefeld and Vin
´
ıcius Teles, and sent
them an e-mail containing the interview questions. One of
the interviewees answered by video, which allowed for more
improvised answers. In this case, we transcribed the interview.
We analysed the data by classifying interesting expressions and
quotations related to the survey results
16
.
B. Results
First, we describe the survey participants to date through
respondent and company demographics. After that, we explore
14
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KX93PGZ
15
Cooperative for Agile Software Development composed of teachers,
students and alumni of IME-USP
16
Complete survey results are available (in Portuguese) on:
http://www.agilcoop.org.br/files/SurveyAgileBR2011.pdf
Brazilian interest in adopting agile methods, its growth and es-
tablishment in this community, and finally future expectations
and challenges.
1) Participant characteristics: To characterize the partic-
ipants in the survey, we illustrate their role, experience and
exposure to agile development in the next three graphs. Figure
5 exhibits an impressive quantity of roles related to developers,
senior developers, team leaders and project managers. In the
option “Other”, many of them could be grouped at project
manager, systems analyst, business analyst, requirements ana-
lyst, tester, CIO/CTO, researcher and consultant/trainer roles.
Fig. 5. Which role below best describes your current position in your
company?
The participants’ experience in practicing agile development
methods is outlined in Figure 6. Their experience are mostly
between two and five years, and then between one and two
years.
Fig. 6. How long have you personally been practicing agile development
methods?
Figure 7 depicts their current level of exposure to agile
development. It mainly relates to working as a member or
leader of an agile team.
Also, we characterized the participants’ organizations. The
Brazilian software organization size, exposed in Figure 8,
Fig. 7. What situation below best describes your current level of exposure
to agile development?
consists of about 39 percent small organizations, about 16
percent very large organizations, about 15 percent very small
organizations and 13 percent medium-sized organizations.
Fig. 8. How large is your total software organization?
Figures 9 frames participants’ organizations main activity.
Most of them are related to Internet and government and then
to office or business area, however in the option “Other”, many
of them are associated to software factory, information tech-
nology (IT) and research and development (R&D) segments.
Figure 10 presents participants’ organizations location. S
˜
ao
Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Distrito Federal and Minas Gerais refer
to the majority respondent locations.
2) Brazilian interest in adopting agile methods: The global
wave of dissatisfaction on software development also stimu-
lated many Brazilian practitioners in searching an alternative
approach that could increase the chances of software success.
Figure 11 sums up the reasons participants find relevant for
adopting agile development methods.
In 1999, Klaus Wuestefeld got in contact with eXtreme
Programming (XP) through links sent by his co-worker. He
said that the XP ideas really captivated him. Then, in 2000,
he decided to attend the first International Conference on XP.
As he states “It was an eye-opening experience”.
An important issue raised by Vin
´
ıcius Teles was that, by
the year of 2002, he was interested in understanding what
could actually make a better project. The interviewee argued
Fig. 11. What were the reasons for adopting agile within your team or organization?
Fig. 9. What is the main activity of your organization?
that “One thing that I realized was that human issues usually
influenced the failure of a project”.
Likewise, it was clear for both that people-oriented ap-
proaches should be considered to deal with important human
issues, such as creativity, social skills and communication. In
this manner, both undertake agile methods in their companies
and contribute to spread the agile way of thinking through
coaching/mentoring, training, lectures and publications (book
and articles in websites/blogs) about agile methods.
3) Growth and establishment of the agile community in
Brazil: For both interviewees, the growth of Brazilian agile
community occurred through two main segments.
After the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the Brazilian
agile adoption was fairly reticent, few of the beginners were
quite seriously using it. Vin
´
ıcius Teles argued that “There were
not so many people interested in XP” and Klaus Wuestefeld
added that Agility started of as a subversive, grass-roots
Fig. 10. Where your company is located?
movement with XP and voluntary evangelists”.
From 2006 on, as stated by Vin
´
ıcius Teles “The growing
was kind of explosive and now this became fashionable”.
Much of this was assigned to the arise of the Scrum method.
Klaus Wuestefeld said that “With the advent of Scrum and
its sex-appeal at management level, we started seeing agile
methods brought in as a top-down approach, with professional
consultants and Kafkian certification processes”. About the
Certified Scrum Master (CSM) courses, Vin
´
ıcius Teles believes
that “This creates so many dysfunctional behaviors in our
community”. However, even being very critical of certification
processes, those initiatives draw attention to a large number
of organizations than the previous years.
In the past ve years, agile methods have became much
more popular in a wide range of organizations and practition-
ers in Brazil. In summary, much of this growth was due to the
increase of the agile community through Scrum addressing
agile management, certification courses, agile methods train-
ings, Brazilian agile conferences (e.g., Agile Brazil, WBMA,
WDRA, Encontro
´
Agil, etc.) and coaching/mentoring.
Figure 12 outlines organizations’ experience in practicing
agile development methods, which mainly covers the range
between one and two years, and then between three and five
years.
Fig. 12. How long has your company been practicing agile development
methods?
To endorse the expressive power of Scrum, Figure 13 shows
that it is considered the agile method most followed in Brazil,
succeeded by the combination of Scrum and XP, which is
corroborated by Klaus Wuestefeld with the statement “In order
to actually deliver something, Scrum teams have been adopt-
ing agile software engineering practices such as TDD/BDD,
continuous integration and pair programming”. In the option
“Other”, most respondents stated Test-Driven Development
(TDD), FDD/Scrum Hybrid and the use of XP/Scrum with
PMBOK.
Fig. 13. Which agile method do you follow most closely?
Figure 14 illustrates the percentage use of an agile method
in organization’s software projects. With the agile adoption,
organizations may benefit in many ways, Figure 15 discloses
the perceived benefits obtained from implementing agile.
4) Expectations and challenges for the future: It is difficult
and ambitious to speak for the future in this domain, but the
Fig. 14. What percent (%) of your company’s software projects use an agile
method?
referred agile champions made some predictions about the way
Brazilian software development community is going to cope
with agile methods in the near future.
As declared by Vin
´
ıcius Teles “People are becoming more
and more interested in agile in many ways. I believe that agile
methods will spread and increase a lot in the next few years”.
Also, it will be very hard to reject the agile way of thinking
as stated by Klaus Wuestefeld “It is very difficult for anyone
to defend a ‘non-agile’ position, whatever the case is”.
At present days, the further agile adoption is harmed by
barriers presented in Figure 16. In the option “Other”, the
main concerns were about adaptation to institutionalized pro-
cesses in the organization (e.g., PMBOK, MPS.BR), lack of
discipline and belief in agile methods, interpersonal issues and
employee turnover.
Fig. 16. What are the barriers to further adoption of agile in your current
organization?
The challenges Brazilian software organizations will have
to face in this domain are also global challenges, as declared
by Vin
´
ıcius Teles.
Even agile being wide accepted in industry, many practition-
ers have difficulties embodying all agile values, principles and
practices in their organizations. There are still dysfunctional
behaviors in the way management thinks about how they
should do software. Management still lacks the whole agile
way of thinking and this is an important issue to consider
when deploying agile.
Fig. 15. What value have you actually realized from implementing Agile practices?
Vin
´
ıcius Teles said “To me, the challenge is in management.
The management has to overcome their thinking, and shift
to another one, which is, in a way, the opposite. I mean,
the traditional way of management works in many kinds of
companies, but it really doesn’t work well at all, when we are
talking about software development.
Klaus Wuestefeld also raised an important concern, “We
Brazilians still have to learn ‘win-win’. We still see most
business deals as exploiting opportunities for both sides rather
than partnerships beneficial to all involved”.
The challenges, stated by both interviewees, are mainly
related to the shift of management thinking, the need for con-
vincing the organizational level, the degree of agile adoption,
such as full, gradual or partial, and the need for a suitable
contract negotiation that involves trust and reduces fear.
VI. CONCLUSION
In the early years of agile methods in Brazil, talks on
the subject were received with great skepticism both by
researchers in academia and by software developers and man-
agers in industry. Often, a few members of the audience in a
lecture about XP would become very aggressive with the ideas
presented by the lecturer. Nowadays, this scenario has changed
completely. Most companies involved in software development
claim that they follow at least some of the recommendations
of the Agile Manifesto. Young developers are now educated
with some contact with agile practices such as automated tests
and continuous integration. Some even say that agile methods
became mainstream.
Nevertheless, the culture and tradition of plan-based de-
velopment and documentation-based evaluation of progress is
still very strong in the Brazilian universities and companies.
Thus, there is still a long way to go before agile methods
be, in fact, pervasive in Brazil. Educators can help in that
direction by modernizing university curricula, researchers can
help by conducting experiments and evaluations of the quality
and productivity of software developed with agile methods.
However, as Thomas Kuhn states in The Structure of Scientific
Revolutions [Kuh62], it might be necessary that a whole
generation of managers and leaders retire before the new
paradigm of agile development become, in fact, widely used
and mainstream.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
We would like to thank all participants who contributed
to the survey. This research is supported by FAPESP, Brazil,
proc. 2009/10338-3, proc. 2009/16354-0, CNPq, Brazil, proc.
76661/2010-2.
APPENDIX A
Interview guide
How was your first contact with agile methods?
After this, to which companies (and/or projects) have you
applied agile methods?
Are you involved in some initiative of agile methods education
(e.g., corporate training, undergraduate training, etc.)?
Over the years, what have you noticed in regard to the growth
and the establishment of the agile community in Brazil?
What do you expect for the future of agile methods in Brazil?
In your opinion, what challenges do Brazilian agile software
organizations still have to overcome?
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