When It Comes To Code Quality: Agile, Waterfall, or Both?

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Supporters of the Agile development methodology have long held that the traditional Waterfall approach to software development was slow, bloated, and unnecessary. The fast-cycle, short sprints of Agile development gave it an edge in a world that moved in Internet time. On the other hand, Waterfall advocates claimed the move to Agile was too swift and that the shorter sprint times would result in architectural weaknesses and increase coding errors. CAST-agile-waterfall-who-will-winIt seemed like a religious debate with no clear winner, one that would rage on for a long time.

But according to findings in our most recent CRASH report, announced this week, applications built using a mixture of Agile and Waterfall, with an up-front emphasis on architectural quality and design, coupled with short time-boxed releases will result in more robust and secure applications than those built using either Agile or Waterfall alone.

Analyzing architectural and code quality weaknesses in 186 different enterprise-grade applications built using Java-EE, our report found that over three quarters of the robustness, security, and changeability scores for applications developed with a mix of Agile and Waterfall methods were higher than the median scores for projects using only Agile or Waterfall methods.

If you’re interested in more findings from the 2014 CRASH Report, you can register today to receive a copy of the executive summary when it’s published later this month.

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