Let’s stop calling Scrum, Agile, XP, etc, “Best” Practices
Let’s instead call them what they are: Practices
If you really are enthusiastic about something you can call it a “good” practice.
It’s fine to say that “Java” or “Scrum” is a “language” or “practice” or “good language” or “good practice”.
But calling Scrum or Java the best language, or best practice is quite silly despite how prevalent this has become.
Calling something a “Best” practice is:
- Not provably true
- Even if provably true, or even mostly true for a given subset of developers/projects would only apply to that given subset, making “Best” at worst useless and at best needing qualification
Eg, “Best for Device Driver Development with Small, Colocated Teams”
- Is unnecessarily divisive and gives short thrift to consideration of other alternatives (Well, if “a is Best Practice, then b is obviously a worse practice”)
I myself am quite tired of hearing that “XP” or “Scrum” is a “best practice” for “iterative and agile development”.
What is true is that XP and Scrum are PRACTICES for iterative and agile development.
Whether they are even appropriate for this or that given project and team is debatable.
Whether they are best or not for any given situation is open to discussion.
Whether they are best for ALL situations is obvious: no one approach is “best” for all applications.
When someone describes something to you as a “best practice” — it’s hype and marketing, it isn’t a rational analysis.
One man’s best is another man’s worst. Someone’s “best” restaurant might be to you only mediocre.
XP and Scrum are merely practices. Sometimes they might work, sometimes they might work best, and many times they work worst.
Calling them “best practices” merely reinforces their marketing machine that it has been proven to be best. It has not.
It is merely the opinion of people who feel that it worked for them, and/or sell services in that area.
I hope my fellow developers will resolve with me to stop referring to anything they like as a “best” practice and call it what it is: a practice.
(Disclaimer: Although I agree that grounded wiring in the bathroom is a “best” practice in electrical wiring, that is also something that has been objectively proven to be true. That is a lot different from the above usages of “best” which have not been objectively proven to be true)