Skip to main content

Agile Software Development Timeline

A Timeline by definition is an iterative document - it is incrementally built minute by minute with no known completion point. However the historical entries on the time line might be elaborate also. This is a rough draft... please comment with new (better - more important, more accurate) events. Or point me to better resources - other historical time lines etc.  Thanks!

Watch Earth's history on a 100yd football field timeline.

1202 Fibonacci introduces Arabic numerals (0-9 and place value) to the West via book “Liber Abaci” (Book of Abacus or Calculation).  The Zero is born!

1950s Demining teaches in Japan

1960s NASA’s Project mercury uses test-first development and micro-increments

1971 The Psychology of Computer Publishing by Gerald Weinberg - largely ignored

1976 EVO Methodology by Tom Gilb

1980s Japanese car companies expand into Europe & Americas

1986 New New Product Development by Takeuchi & Nonaka

1986 No Silver Bullet by Fred Brooks - advantages of Incremental & Iterative Development

1987 Peopleware by deMarco & Lister

1988 Iterative delivery described by Tom Gilb in Principles of Software Engineering Management

Software Patterns

Pair Programming - organizational patterns described by James Coplien

1990 The Machine that Changed the World by Womack & Jones

1990s Object-oriented Programming

1990s Schwaber uses early Scrum at Advanced Development Methods
1990s Sutherland uses early Scrum at Easel Corporation
1990s Internet
1990s Dot-Com Boom

1994 Book:  Agile Competitors and Virtual Organization: Strategies for Enriching the Customer

1995 DSDM consortium publishes version 1.

1995 Scrum Methodology paper by Sutherland & Schwaber

1996 Lean Thinking  by Womack & Jones

1996 Journey of the Software Professional: The Sociology of Software Development
By Hohmann

1996 Beck creates XP at Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation System (C3)

1997 Feature-Driven Development (FDD) by Jeff De Luca

1998 Extreme Programming by Kent Beck on wiki

1998 Crystal family of methodologies by Alistair Cockburn

1999 Java Modeling in Color with UML by Peter Coad  - Ch 6 describes FDD.

1999, Extreme Programming Explained by Beck

1990s Crystal Clear by Alistair Cockburn

1999 The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master by Hunt & Thomas

2000 Adaptive Software Development: A Collaborative Approach to Managing Complex Systems by Highsmith

2001 Agile Manifesto Signed - Feb in Snowbird Utah

2001 Agile-Testing Yahoo! Group started

2001 Agile Software Development with Scrum by Schwaber & Beedle

2003 Lean Software Development by Poppendieck

2004  Watir released

2004 Agile Project management with Scrum by Schwaber

2005 Fit for Developing Software  by Mugridge & Cunningham

2006 BDD article by Dan North in Better Software Magazine

2006 RSpec released

2006 Selenium released

2007 Kanban introduced

2007 Scaled Agile Framework by Dean Leffingwell

2008 Cucumber released

2008 Robot Framework open sourced

2008 Slim update to Fitnesse

2009 The RSpec Book by Chelimsky & Astels

2009 Software Craftsmanship Conference

2011 PMI introduces Agile Certified Practitioner

2014 Schism in community of Scrum over techniques of scaling to enterprise

2016 Manifesto for Agile Company Development by Matt the Agile Coach

See Also:
The timeline in the Evolution of Scrum - 3Back

Timeline of Long Distance Communication

A Perspective on Time by
51 Most Popular Tech Gadgets through the Years - Popular Mechanics

4 Billion years of Technology


Elisabeth Hendrickson, Quality Tree Software, Inc.
Agile, Testing, and Quality: Looking Back, Moving Forward.  Oct 28, 2009
History of Agile S/W Development
Timeline of Computer Science  150 major events (via MIT) from 300BC to now

Post a Comment

Most Popular on Agile Complexification Inverter

Elements of an Effective Scrum Task Board

What are the individual elements that make a Scrum task board effective for the team and the leadership of the team?  There are a few basic elements that are quite obvious when you have seen a few good Scrum boards... but there are some other elements that appear to elude even the most servant of leaders of Scrum teams.

In general I'm referring to a physical Scrum board.  Although software applications will replicated may of the elements of a good Scrum board there will be affordances that are not easily replicated.  And software applications offer features not easily implemented in the physical domain also.

Scrum Info Radiator Checklist (PDF) Basic Elements
Board Framework - columns and rows laid out in bold colors (blue tape works well)
Attributes:  space for the total number of stickies that will need to belong in each cell of the matrix;  lines that are not easy eroded, but are also easy to replace;  see Orientation.

Columns (or Rows) - labeled
    To Do
    Work In P…

Exercise:: Definition of Ready & Done

Assuming you are on a Scrum/Agile software development team, then one of the first 'working agreements' you have created with your team is a 'Definition of Done' - right?

Oh - you don't have a definition of what aspects a user story that is done will exhibit. Well then, you need to create a list of attributes of a done story. One way to do this would be to Google 'definition of done' ... here let me do that for you: Then you could just use someone else's definition - there DONE!

But that would be cheating -- right? It is not the artifact - the list of done criteria, that is important for your team - it is the act of doing it for themselves, it is that shared understanding of having a debate over some of the gray areas that create a true working agreement. If some of the team believes that a story being done means that there can be no bugs found in the code - but some believe that there can be some minor issues - well, …

What belongs on the Task Board?

I wonder about these questions a lot - what types of task belong on the task board?  Does every task have to belong to a Story?  Are some tasks just too small?  Are some tasks too obvious?  Obviously some task are too larger, but when should it be decomposed?  How will we know a task is too large?

I answer these questions with a question.  What about a task board motivates us to get work done?  The answer is: T.A.S.K.S. to DONE!

Inherent in the acronym TASKS is the point of all tasks, to get to done.  That is the measure of if the task is the right size.  Does it motivate us to get the work done?  (see notes on Dan Pink's book: Drive - The surprising Truth about what motivates us) If we are forgetting to do some class of task then putting it on the board will help us remember.  If we think some small task is being done by someone else, then putting it on the board will validate that someone else is actually doing it.  If a task is obvious, then putting it on the board will take vi…

A T-Shaped 21st Century Knowledge Worker

Knowledge workers in the 21st Century must have many areas of deep knowledge, while also be capable of collaboration across multiple other domains with dissimilar T-shaped individuals.  This description of a person is a metaphor.  Compare it to the shape of the "I" in the classic saying there is no "I" in Team.

I first read about Scott Ambler's term "Generalizing Specialist" - but it's so hard to remember the proper order of the words... get it backwards and it has an inverted meaning... T-Shaped is easier to remember. 
A generalizing specialist is someone who:
Has one or more technical specialties (e.g. Java programming, Project Management, Database Administration, ...). Has at least a general knowledge of software development. Has at least a general knowledge of the business domain in which they work. Actively seeks to gain new skills in both their existing specialties as well as in other areas, including both technical and domain areas.  General…

David's notes on "Drive"

- "The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us" by Dan Pink.

Amazon book order
What I notice first and really like is the subtle implication in the shadow of the "i" in Drive is a person taking one step in a running motion.  This brings to mind the old saying - "there is no I in TEAM".  There is however a ME in TEAM, and there is an I in DRIVE.  And when one talks about motivating a team or an individual - it all starts with - what's in it for me.


Pink starts with an early experiment with monkeys on problem solving.  Seems the monkeys were much better problem solver's than the scientist thought they should be.  This 1949 experiment is explained as the early understanding of motivation.  At the time there were two main drivers of motivation:  biological & external influences.  Harry F. Harlow defines the third drive in a novel theory:  "The performance of the task provided intrinsic reward" (p 3).  This is Dan Pink's M…