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Discussion on: Are Amazon and Google at odds with Agile?

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Blaine Osepchuk

No.

Amazon's 6-pagers are business documents, not software documentation. Besides both having "document" in the name, that's about all they have in common.

A development methodology is 'agile' or not based on a holistic appraisal of the team's practices and mindset, not whether or not they have written documentation.

I recently read the book "Software Engineering at Google" and my impression is that they are minimizing documentation. It's just that the level of documentation required to keep the wheels on a code base with billions of lines of code and tens of thousands of devs working on it all around the world is a lot different than the typical system (with perhaps less than 100 KLOC and a couple of devs). Scale matters a lot!

I doubt Google cares if someone calls what they are doing agile or not but I don't think you can figure that out with the information you've given. In my estimation they just don't want to get stuck in the position where their code base is a mess, it's a nightmare to work on, good devs jump ship, and every new feature costs more than the last.