UVA Darden Launches Online Specialization in Agile Development

By Dave Hendrick

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is launching an online specialization in agile, the widely-adopted software development methodology. Registration for the Coursera-hosted, five-course specialization is currently open and the first course launches 9 February.

The new Agile Development Specialization is supported by the Darden School’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and led by Alex Cowan, an entrepreneur and fellow at the Batten Institute and Darden faculty member who teaches classes in software design and development.

The specialization’s courses give students a practical understanding of how to apply agile, from concept to execution, with an emphasis on its relationship to design thinking practices and evidence-based innovation. Students in the specialization will learn how determining value for users early in the product development lifecycle leads to more efficient work and superior results.

Courses also cover agile fundamentals such as writing user stories, applying Scrum and Extreme programming (XP), running design sprints, managing teams and encouraging experimentation.

By gaining a better understanding of agile’s focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, as opposed to just project management, students learn how to avoid common pitfalls in applying the process.

“With innovation on everyone’s A-list, agile’s in an exciting place. It’s always been a workhorse for applied innovation, and now it’s really coming into its own as a way to integrate design thinking and lean into product development,” said Cowan. “I’ve really enjoyed developing the courses. There are so many great success stories and examples of successful practice out there and I hope the course will help create more.”

The five courses that make up the Agile Development Specialization are:

  • “Getting Started: Agile Meets Design Thinking,” launching 9 February
  • “Running Valuable Design Sprints,” launching in March
  • “Managing an Agile Team,” launching in April
  • “Running Experiments with Agile,” launching in May
  • “Agile Development Capstone,” launching in June

“The Agile Development Specialization represents another valuable offering from Darden and our partners at Coursera,” said Michael Koenig, senior assistant dean for degree programs at Darden. “We’re thrilled to continue providing critical content from industry and thought leaders to a global audience.”

Learn more and register.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia