Today’s Hanselminutes episode has Scott interviewing David Laribee, the guy who coined the name “ALT.NET.” I think he went a long way toward explaining the motivations of the movement, as well as its position regarding Microsoft. Several things he said actually surprised me.
First, he said that an Agile approach may not be appropriate for all scenarios (specifically very large teams)… Wha? You mean Agile is not the panacea for all your development ills? Sarcasm aside, even though many knowledgeable developers believe that Agile environments can benefit most teams (and I have neither the experience nor the will to contradict them), it’s good to hear such a non-dogmatic statement coming from an ALT.NET leader.
Also, in the same vein, he said that waterfall might not be bad in all cases, and that he had been a part of several successful waterfall-style projects. Now that really surprised me. Even mentioning the waterfall approach to building systems has been kind of a cue to pounce on someone (as in the case of Frans Bouma), so in this case as well, it’s refreshing to hear what seems to be a moderate voice.
It’s possible that David held back a bit during the interview; I really don’t know, since I haven’t read much of his blog. But it could also be that I have committed the cardinal sin of letting the commenters on ALT.NET blogs color my perception of what the actual leaders of the movement believe. All I know for sure is that I’ve got a new entry on my blogroll, and I feel like I really do need to stay tuned in to this influential segment of the software development community.