Teaching Agile Methods to Software Engineering Professionals

Agile methods are an essential resource for software engineers. The Agile movement evolved out of industry and is the common approach to software development today. Teaching Agile methods challenges students’ working attitudes, where putting Agile into practice is not possible through simply applying methods prescriptively, but by having an Agile mindset. In this paper we present and discuss our experiences over the last decade of teaching a novel intensive Agile methods week long course as part of a professional Masters of Software Engineering degree programme at the University of Oxford. We describe the typical shape of the course, discuss how students experience Agile values and management practices to foster an Agile mindset, and provide student feedback indicating a consistently positive response to our approach at teaching Agile methods to software engineering professionals. Our reported experiences and material can help other educators who want to run similar courses and adapt where required.