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Agile for the Solo Developer

I am going to be starting a project soon and plan to use as much of agile methods as I can (CI, TDD etc.). What have been people's experiences doing agile development when working solo? I want to get good practices in place now while its a one person team so when I scale up to having several people the basics are in place.

  • 16
    Pair programming works if you have multiple personalities :) Feb 22, 2011 at 19:47
  • 7
    The daily stand-up should be interesting... Feb 22, 2011 at 19:48
  • 2
    @david - not in my experience. Feb 22, 2011 at 19:49
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    @davidhaskins: that's correct. Very few know that Agile programming dates back to 1886, thanks to Robert Louis Stevenson. His manuscript "Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" is considered to be the seminal work in this field.
    – s.m
    Feb 22, 2011 at 19:56
  • 1
    Duplicate of stackoverflow.com/q/2175735/25507 Feb 22, 2011 at 19:56

4 Answers 4


A facet of Agile would be KANBAN. I would use a KANBAN board to manage your workload and have your TO DO / IN PROGRESS / DONE swimlanes out on a wall. Just put up stickies for what needs to get done.

Also +1 for TDD


TDD is the easiest tool to use in a one person project or, as I do, in a bigger project where developers do debugging/unit testing.



XP/TDD scales from one to one thousand. Pair programming is optional.

  • 4
    Pair programming with yourself could lead to funny looks as you discuss options with you partner :-) Feb 22, 2011 at 20:58
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    @Martin: just make a mp3 recording of someone else saying things at random like "are you sure about that? did you cover all the edge cases? i think i see a typo? does that need another unit test? isn't it time to check in the changes so far?" and so on. Feb 22, 2011 at 21:26
  • :-) I'll try that. Feb 23, 2011 at 6:39
  • @Tux-D, it would be no different than rubber ducking
    – CaffGeek
    Sep 9, 2011 at 15:39
  • I could pair with my cat
    – Zachary K
    Aug 24, 2012 at 13:23

I would say try personal scrum..its an interesting way to speed up your 'any' kind of project even if only one person is envolved. may be check out http://blog.jgpruitt.com/tag/agile-methodology/

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