Agile Made Devin AI Possible | Prime Reacts

9 Apr 202421:56

TLDRThe video script discusses the author's disdain for agile and scrum methodologies, which he believes have led to the perception that software engineering can be replaced by AI. Carl, the speaker, criticizes the lack of comprehensive documentation and long-term planning in agile projects, suggesting that these practices are detrimental to the profession. He argues that the reliance on sprints and ceremonies can lead to burnout and a lack of progress. Despite his skepticism about the current state of AI's ability to replace human engineers, Carl acknowledges that large language models may assist with documentation and that the field of software development will need to evolve to both utilize and survive AI advancements. He encourages aspiring engineers to learn to code and create projects that push the boundaries of their skills, emphasizing the importance of foresight and skill in software longevity.


  • 😀 Agile methodologies, including Scrum, have been criticized for leading to burnout and a lack of completion in software projects due to constant pivoting.
  • 👎 The speaker expresses a strong dislike for standup meetings and the ritualistic nature of Agile practices, suggesting they can be inefficient.
  • 🚀 Extreme Programming (XP) introduced concepts like iterations, Sprints, and standup meetings, which later influenced Agile and Scrum frameworks.
  • 📈 The Agile Manifesto prioritized individual and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and responsiveness to change over comprehensive documentation and following a plan.
  • 🤖 The rise of AI and large language models (LLMs) may change the future of software development, potentially automating certain tasks traditionally performed by engineers.
  • 🛠️ There is a concern that if software engineering focuses solely on completing tickets and not on long-term benefits, AI could replace human engineers for these tasks.
  • 🧐 The speaker is skeptical about the current capabilities of AI, suggesting that while LLMs can generate code, they may not fully understand the context or implications of their solutions.
  • 📚 Documentation is often deprioritized in Agile practices, but it might be beneficial to improve it with the help of AI and large language models.
  • 🔄 The speaker argues that software development needs to evolve, taking advantage of AI while also ensuring that engineers focus on work with long-term value.
  • 💡 Creating personal projects and scaling them until they fail is suggested as an effective way to learn and improve coding skills.
  • ⏳ The ability to write code that lasts for an extended period without needing to be rewritten is seen as a significant achievement in software engineering.

Q & A

  • What is the speaker's initial reaction to the title involving Agile and AI?

    -The speaker finds the title to be the craziest he has ever seen and expresses a strong dislike for Agile, indicating a curiosity and excitement to discuss the topics.

  • Why does the speaker criticize the use of the title 'software engineer' for team members working on the Devon project?

    -The speaker criticizes the use of the title 'software engineer' for the Devon team as he feels it overstates their role and importance, much like equating a machine to a civil engineer, which he finds absurd and deserving of ridicule.

  • What is the speaker's view on Gant charts and their effectiveness in software project management?

    -The speaker views Gant charts as ineffective for managing software projects as they were not designed to accommodate the flexible and unpredictable nature of software development.

  • How does the speaker describe the Agile methodology in relation to Waterfall?

    -The speaker equates Agile to Waterfall by suggesting that Agile is just Waterfall with a different approach, likening it to taking a kayak down a waterfall where adjustments are possible but ultimately, it's still a descent via waterfall.

  • What does the speaker imply about the burnout associated with Agile methodologies?

    -The speaker implies that Agile methodologies lead to a cycle of endless pivoting and adjustments without completing anything definitive, which causes emotional strain and burnout among team members.

  • What is the speaker's stance on Extreme Programming (XP) and its naming irony?

    -The speaker finds it ironic that Extreme Programming, which is intended to be a flexible and less rigorous approach to software development, is introduced as 'a gentle introduction', highlighting a contradiction in terms.

  • What critique does the speaker offer about standup meetings in Agile practices?

    -The speaker dislikes standup meetings, viewing them as unproductive and preferring that meetings be either very necessary or not held at all, suggesting a preference for communication that doesn't waste time.

  • According to the speaker, how did Agile methodologies change the perception and practice of software engineering?

    -The speaker believes that Agile methodologies diluted the rigor and discipline traditionally associated with software engineering, making it seem less structured and systematic than it should be.

  • What is the speaker's perspective on the Agile Manifesto and its impact?

    -The speaker is skeptical of the Agile Manifesto, associating the term 'manifesto' with radical or extreme ideas, and criticizes it for de-emphasizing crucial aspects of software development like documentation and long-term planning.

  • What concerns does the speaker express about the future interaction between software engineering and AI-driven tools like Devon?

    -The speaker is concerned that AI tools like Devon, which automate parts of the software development process, might lead to a devaluation of human software engineers' skills, especially if their work primarily involves routine tasks.



😀 Agile and Scrum: The Controversy

Carl introduces the topic by expressing his disdain for Agile and Scrum methodologies, which he believes are overhyped and lead to burnout. He shares his personal experience and opinion on software engineering and criticizes the idea that a machine could replace a human software engineer. Carl also touches on the historical context of software project management, comparing traditional Gantt chart-based approaches to Agile's iterative process, which he equates to navigating a waterfall in a kayak.


😕 Extreme Programming (XP) and its Pitfalls

The speaker discusses the rise of Extreme Programming (XP) as an alternative to Gantt charts and Waterfall models. He humorously critiques the concept of 'extreme' in programming and lists XP's rules, which include iterations, small releases, and stand-up meetings. Carl expresses a strong dislike for stand-up meetings and suggests creating a 'radical programming' alternative. He also talks about the shift from release planning to more flexible schedules, especially in the context of internet-based projects, and how this impacted software development practices.


🤔 The Impact of Scrum on Software Engineering

Carl delves into the principles of Scrum, a framework that emerged from Agile values. He criticizes Scrum's rituals and ceremonies, which he feels have caused significant pain in the industry. The speaker also discusses the idea of software engineering as a discipline, touching on the debate over whether programming can be truly engineered like a craft. He highlights the importance of documentation and the need for the software engineering profession to mature and be taken seriously, emphasizing the difference between structural work and routine task completion.


😤 The Threat of AI to Software Engineering Jobs

The speaker addresses the concern that AI, specifically large language models (LLMs), could replace human software engineers. He suggests that the public perception of software engineering needs to change and that engineers should focus on work with long-term benefits rather than just clearing the backlog. Carl argues that while AI can handle routine tasks, it is not sophisticated enough to replace human engineers in meaningful ways. He also discusses the importance of creating robust code bases and the role of individual engineers in their longevity.


📚 Learning to Code and the Future of Software Engineering

Carl concludes with advice for those interested in software engineering, encouraging them to learn to code and create projects that they can scale until they fail. He emphasizes the importance of gaining experience and improving through trial and error. The speaker suggests that the best engineers are those who can write code that remains functional for an extended period, and he dismisses the idea that any code could be written to never need rewriting. Carl's overarching message is to become skilled at coding and to understand the difference between creating sustainable, effective software and merely generating code.




Agile is a methodology for software development that values collaboration, flexibility, and customer satisfaction. It involves iterative and incremental development, where work is broken down into small pieces, and teams work on them in short cycles known as 'sprints'. In the video, the speaker criticizes Agile for leading to a cycle of never-ending work and burnout due to its focus on constant pivoting and lack of completion.


Scrum is a framework within the Agile methodology that defines a set of 'ceremonies' or events such as Sprint Planning, Daily Stand-ups, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective. It emphasizes team collaboration and the ability to quickly respond to change. The speaker in the video expresses a dislike for Scrum, particularly the daily stand-up meetings, and suggests that it contributes to the devaluation of software engineering work.

💡Stand-up Meetings

Stand-up meetings, also known as daily stand-ups, are short, daily events where team members report on what they did the previous day, what they plan to do today, and any impediments they face. The speaker humorously refers to these as something he 'hates' and suggests they can be inefficient, preferring more productive use of time.

💡Waterfall Model

The Waterfall Model is a traditional, sequential approach to software development where each phase of the project must be completed before the next one begins. It is often criticized for its inflexibility. In the video, the speaker humorously refers to Agile as 'just another waterfall', indicating that despite its adaptive approach, Agile can still lead to a similar linear progression of tasks.

💡Extreme Programming (XP)

Extreme Programming (XP) is an Agile software development framework that emphasizes coding practices, such as test-driven development, and frequent releases. It was designed to augment the Waterfall Model with more flexibility. The speaker mentions XP as an alternative to traditional Gantt chart-based project management, highlighting its focus on iterations and small releases.


Burnout refers to a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. In the context of the video, the speaker links Agile practices to the potential for burnout, suggesting that the constant cycle of starting and pivoting without completion can lead to emotional exhaustion and a sense of never-ending work.

💡Test-Driven Development (TDD)

Test-Driven Development (TDD) is a software development approach where tests are written before the code they are intended to validate. XP practitioners advocate for TDD, which the speaker in the video humorously criticizes, likening it to communism and questioning its practicality in the current state of software development.

💡Large Language Models (LLMs)

Large Language Models (LLMs) are AI systems that can process and generate human-like text based on vast amounts of data. The speaker discusses the potential impact of LLMs on software engineering, suggesting that they could automate certain aspects of coding, but also expresses skepticism about their ability to replace skilled human engineers.


Documentation in software development refers to the written descriptions of what the code is intended to do, how it does it, and how to use it. The speaker criticizes the Agile Manifesto for deprioritizing documentation, which can lead to a lack of clarity and maintainability in software projects.


A backlog in Agile development is a list of work items or tasks that need to be completed, often prioritized by the team. The speaker uses the term 'backlog' to describe the repetitive and mundane tasks that might be automated by AI, suggesting that engineers who only focus on clearing the backlog may be at risk of being replaced by AI.

💡Software Engineering

Software Engineering is the application of engineering principles to software design, development, and maintenance. The video discusses the perception of software engineering as a profession and the need for it to mature and be recognized for the critical thinking and decision-making that goes into creating software, rather than just the coding tasks.


The speaker, Carl, humorously criticizes the idea that AI and Dev could be a result of agile and scrum failures.

Carl expresses his disdain for agile methodologies, comparing them to a waterfall approach.

He discusses the origin of agile in the 1990s and its evolution from Gant charts.

Carl humorously suggests that the term 'extreme programming' is paradoxical.

The speaker outlines the rules of extreme programming and how they relate to modern agile practices.

Carl argues against the effectiveness of standup meetings in software development.

He expresses frustration with the public perception of software engineering, suggesting it lacks the respect of other engineering fields.

Carl discusses the impact of the Agile Manifesto and how it deprioritized documentation in software projects.

The speaker satirically proposes 'radical programming' as an alternative to agile practices.

Carl criticizes the Scrum framework for creating more pain in developers' lives than any other method.

He highlights the irony of software development being seen as an engineering discipline yet lacking in structured methodologies.

Carl discusses the potential of large language models to improve documentation in software projects.

The speaker challenges the audience to consider the long-term benefits of their work in software development.

Carl suggests that AI, like Devin, may take over routine tasks in software development, prompting a need for humans to focus on more complex problem-solving.

He advises software engineers to create projects, learn from their failures, and improve their coding foresight.

Carl emphasizes the importance of writing maintainable code that can withstand the test of time.

The speaker reassures the audience that despite the rise of AI, there will always be a need for skilled human programmers.