Agile Development Skills

Do you require agile development skills to function well in your job role? This article provides a guide on how you can develop the skills and include them on your resume.


What is Agile Development?

Agile Development is an iterative approach to software development that focuses on delivering high-quality software in a short amount of time. It emphasizes collaboration and communication between developers, customers, and stakeholders through short development cycles (also known as sprints) that focus on delivering software features in increments. Agile development also encourages rapid feedback and response to changes in scope, allowing teams to quickly adapt to evolving customer requirements.

It is also a software development methodology that emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and iterative development. Agile methods are based on the idea that the requirements for a software project can change rapidly, and that the development process should be able to adapt to these changes quickly. Agile development typically involves teams of developers working in short, iterative cycles to quickly develop and deliver working software. The goal of agile development is to enable teams to quickly respond to changes and deliver high-quality software that meets the needs of the end user.


Importance of Agile Development Skills

  • Faster time to market

This point does not always apply, but often products developed using Agile methodology end up being delivered faster. During a product design workshop, the team can break down the final product into smaller parts, which very often reduces the number of mandatory features you plan for release, to deliver a more tested and better-performing product earlier and then refine it.

  • Development of better products

Another benefit of Agile development, arising from the division of the project into manageable parts, is the improvement of product quality. In agile development, testing is an integral part of the process after each sprint (i.e. essentially after the development of a single feature or a set of features).

Agile project managers ensure that the customer and the team are on the same page throughout the project, in frequent meetings.

This means that the customer is always aware of what is being developed, what it looks like, how the team is progressing, etc. The customer can give feedback immediately after the development of a particular feature, and any questions can be resolved instantly.

An Agile environment is also deeply based on feedback and collaboration, and this also applies to communication between developers. Such an environment allows the team to find and fix bugs faster, and to optimize the code throughout the development process, which improves the overall quality of the product in real-time.

  • Flexible Priorities

One of the main advantages of Agile development is its great flexibility. Agile teams are generally smaller, but thanks to the feedback loop and constant communication between everyone involved in the process, not all changes to the backlog are as costly or time-consuming as in a traditional project management system. Functional priorities can change, and the backlog can be modified and adapted to the industry and the current market situation.

  • Reduce risk

Agile development is not only praised for its flexibility and change management. It is also a risk mitigation system. Regular team meetings involving the client and the Agile project manager ensure that everyone is on the same page about the direction of the project and can discuss any backlog changes. Because Agile development focuses on the value delivered after each sprint, Agile teams can respond quickly and more effectively to change than traditional teams. In a traditional system, customer requirements are only collected before the project starts, without regular feedback.

  • Project visibility and transparency

Compared to traditional project management approaches, the agile development process makes the project visible to all stakeholders throughout the project. Everyone can see the progress of the project and maintain feedback instead of waiting until the end of the project. In addition, because agile development relies to some extent on customer involvement throughout the project – from prioritization of functions to weekly meetings and review sessions – it also provides an excellent level of transparency for all parties involved.

  • Empowering the team

Team members tend to be self-managed and self-organized (read more about self-managed teams and their benefits) using this skill. They have much more autonomy than traditionally managed teams, so they take ownership of their tasks and work together to remove obstacles. Self-management has been shown to encourage creativity and innovation among team members, who are therefore more likely to propose alternative solutions and take an interest in their work (and its results).

Self-management and flexibility promote personal and team development and allow them to share and learn every day, simply within their work environment.

  • Continuous focus on end-users

Agile development approaches focus on delivering continuous value to the end users of the product. In Agile software development, features are translated into user stories (requirements for the software system, but formulated in an informal and natural language that users can understand) that are based on so-called acceptance criteria, i.e. conditions that a feature (or product) must meet to be accepted by the end user. Agile development helps to add value after each iteration by making all features available for real-time feedback. Gathering feedback earlier in the process means that the functionality can be modified and refined to meet the expectations of real users more quickly.

  • Better task optimization and project predictability

With all stakeholders on the same page, the Agile methodology improves the predictability of the overall project. Before the project begins, the team estimates the time and cost of each sprint, calculating how long it will take to develop all the features of the project. The initial estimate is then tracked throughout the project and adjusted if a feature is developed faster or takes longer than expected.


How to Improve your Agile Development Skills

The following are different ways you can use to improve your agile development skills:

  • Define roles and objectives from the start

Many misunderstandings start at the beginning of a project. Every project should have a clear start with defined roles and objectives. From the beginning, it is important to discuss the different roles and expectations of the team members. There should be an overview of the escalation showing how to solve problems when they arise.

  • Encourage questions

Always encourage the team to ask questions. Never deflect questions or make someone feel inadequate if they ask questions. Questions help to clarify, discover, and sometimes improve the process. It is therefore important to encourage the team to ask questions and clarify. Remember that there is nothing wrong with not having answers and finding them along the way.

  • Make mistakes

People who are new to agile development tools can make mistakes. Mistakes should be encouraged and discussed openly, especially at the beginning of a project. Mistakes allow us to learn and improve. With agile development, small mistakes that can be fixed in minutes or a day turn into mountains that delay release dates by weeks or months. Whatever you do, don’t ignore mistakes. How the team handles mistakes can be a golden opportunity to bring the team together.


Jobs That Require Agile Development Skills

Some jobs that may require agile development skills include:

  • Software development

Software developers are responsible for designing, implementing, and testing software applications. Agile development skills can help them work effectively in an agile environment and deliver high-quality software quickly and efficiently.

  • Project Management

Project managers are responsible for planning and coordinating development projects. Agile development skills can help them manage agile teams and ensure that projects are delivered on time and within budget.

  • Scrum master

Scrum masters are responsible for facilitating agile development processes and helping teams follow the principles of agile development. Agile development skills are essential for this role.

  • Business analysis

Business analysts are responsible for gathering and analyzing business requirements and translating them into functional requirements for software development. Agile development skills can help these professionals work effectively with agile teams and ensure that software solutions align with business needs.


How to Include Agile Development Skills In Your Resume

To include agile development skills in your resume, you can do the following:

  • Identify the agile development skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Some common agile development skills include project management, team collaboration, stakeholder management, and flexibility.
  • Include specific examples of how you have used these skills in your previous work experience.
  • Use keywords related to agile development in your resume. These keywords may include “agile development,” “scrum,” “sprint,” and “iterative development.”
  • Consider obtaining certifications in agile development, such as Certified ScrumMaster or Certified Agile Project Manager, and include these certifications on your resume.
  • Make sure to tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for and highlight the skills and experience that are relevant to the role.

Overall, the key to including agile development skills in your resume is to be specific and provide examples of how you have used these skills in the past. This will help to demonstrate your expertise and make your resume stand out to potential employers.


Examples of How to Include Agile Development Skills In Your Resume

  • Demonstrated ability to create and maintain a productive environment for agile teams.
  • Collaborated with stakeholders to set and meet agile development milestones and objectives
  • Developed and implemented agile development processes to maximize team efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Experienced in tracking and reporting project progress and results using agile metrics and reporting.
  • Mentored and coached teams to ensure the successful adoption and use of agile development practices.


How to Demonstrate Agile Development Skills In An Interview

There are a few key ways you can demonstrate your agile development skills in an interview. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

  • Talk about your experience working in agile development environments, including any specific frameworks or methodologies you have used (e.g. Scrum, Kanban, Lean, etc.).
  • Discuss any agile principles or values that you follow in your work, such as collaboration, iterative development, and flexibility.
  • Share examples of how you have applied agile practices in your work, such as through conducting regular sprints or retrospectives, working with cross-functional teams, or using agile tools and techniques.
  • Show your ability to adapt to change by talking about times when you have had to pivot or adjust your approach in response to new information or requirements.
  • Highlight any successes you have had using agile methods, such as delivering projects on time, meeting customer needs, or improving team collaboration.


Examples of Interview Questions To Test Agile Development Skills

Here are different frequently asked questions to prepare for agile development interviews:

  1. What is agile development?

Agile development is a software development methodology that emphasizes iterative development, team collaboration, and customer feedback. The goal of agile development is to create high-quality software quickly and efficiently. Most employers ask this question to know if you have the knowledge of agile development and how it can be applied in the workplace.

  1. Can you explain the differences between Waterfall, Iterative and Agile methodologies?

The main difference between Waterfall, Iterative and Agile methodologies is the degree of flexibility and adaptability that each offers. Waterfall is a very linear and rigid approach in which each stage of a project must be completed before moving on to the next. The iterative approach is a more flexible approach in which the project is divided into smaller parts and each part is completed in turn. The agile approach is the most flexible and adaptable. The project is divided into even smaller parts and the order of execution is continuously adjusted according to feedback and changes.

  1. What are the key concepts used in Agile development?

Agile development is a process that aims to create software quickly and iteratively. The key concepts used in Agile development are user stories, sprints, scrum, and continuous integration.

  1. How does an Agile team work together to accomplish a task?

An Agile team usually works together in short sprints, or iterations, to accomplish a task. Each sprint usually lasts about two weeks, and during this time the team works together to achieve a specific goal. At the end of each sprint, the team reviews its progress and decides what to do next. This iterative approach allows the team to constantly adapt and improve its process as it goes along.

  1. What do you think about long-term planning when using Agile methodology?

You can say you think long-term planning is always important, even when using Agile methodology. It is important to have a general idea of what you want to do at the end of the project and then use the Agile methodology to help you get there in the most efficient way possible.

Resume Skills