October 29, 2012

Why I dislike the term 'Agile/Software/Practices Evangelist'

As software developers we often see these kind of adjectives on someone's profile, normally on LinkedIn or some resumes you get from time to time. I dislike this term, not because of the history behind it nor the intention it tries to give, but because of its meaning:

"the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to others with the object of conversion" - Wikipedia

The problem raises with the word 'beliefs', when working on systems and organizations, you shouldn't rely on beliefs, beliefs can or can't have proofs. You should rely in things that have a background or some basis that you can use in an argument.

If you are, let's say, an Agile Evangelist, you've already lost me. Because you described that you do what you do not because it is the best way you found of doing it, it is just because you believe it might be.

We, as people who work building reliable systems, should be careful about using something that doesn't have a valid argument beyond a belief, we should be able to say 'We chose this process because it has proven to be at least 50% more efficient'.

Argue about what you do, be critic of what you use, think and analyze, don't follow fashion, follow ideas with sustainable arguments.