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How to Attract Agile Development Talent

If you call them, they will come. If your enterprise is agile, they will stay. As Sharon Florentine for CIO explains, attracting agile talent is only secondary to becoming a truly agile organization. She interviews Eric Winquist, CEO of JAMA Software about what it takes to make the whole company agile. From the office environment to current development talent, Winquist’s advice will send you on a quest to assemble nothing less than the ultimate agile team:

The agile approach is a major shift away from the traditional “waterfall” approach to software development that relies on a strict, command-and-control mindset and therefore requires a different set of skills. Finding agile talent requires recruiters and hiring managers to change their own mindset

Instead of banking solely on technical expertise and specialized knowledge…companies that want to adopt an agile approach or beef up their existing agile framework must look for and attract developers whose work style, experience and attitude reflect the tenets of the agile manifesto.

Agile Culture

The quest to become agile begins with a mindset. If your company isn’t prepared culturally to become agile, changing that culture is a good place to start. The ‘command and control’ approach of most corporations is antithetical to the agile mentality, which flattens hierarchy in favor of a collaborative approach. Gradually introducing agile-minded programmers, collaborative tools, or pair programming starts the change from the ground up and will lead to a sustained agile culture.

Simply claiming to have a culture of innovation will often backfire, since workplace arrangement is the first red flag to would-be agile developers who need a quiet environment with plenty of room for daily stand-ups. Many of the engineers already in-house will possess the necessary potential to step into agile methodologies with the proper training. Instead of pretending to have an environment that fosters agile development, you can create that status from existing talent.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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