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Organizational Patterns of Agile Software Development

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0131467408
ISBN-10: 0131467409
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

See what reviewers at Slashdot.org originally had to say about James and Neil's book!

"This is a remarkably wise book, full of pragmatic advice drawn from real projects. Ultimately, software development is a human experience, and Jim and Neil have captured the essence of that experience in this work. The tapestry of patterns they have woven is postively brillant, and each thread therein is a delight to read."

--Grady Booch, IBM Fellow

Do you want to really improve your software development organization instead of complying with an arbitrary standard, or trying the latest fad? This book presents the fundamentals of creating sustainable organizations, based on in-depth studies of over 100 real software development organizations.

The authors present nearly 100 organizational patterns to help you create a highly effective organization. Case studies and vignettes illustrate how these patterns work. This practical guide shows you how to reshape critical parts of your organization. Regardless of your role, you will find patterns that you can use to make your organization more effective.

"This carefully researched, artfully described, and extraordinarily useful handbook of deep wisdom on creating teams that generate terrific software should be on every software development manager's bookshelf."

--Luke Hohmann, Hohmann Consulting
Author of Beyond Software Architecture

"As soon as I had worked through these patterns, I realized that several of my clients engaged in process definition projects could make use of them."

--Ian Graham, Technical Director, trireme.com

About the Author

James O. Coplien is a premier expert and writer on the object paradigm and C++, having worked with the language since its inception at AT&T. Currently a member of Bell Laboratories Research at Lucent Technologies, his work focuses on multi-paradigm development methods and organizational anthropology for software development processes. His previous books include "Pattern Languages of Program Design" (with Douglas C. Schmidt), "Pattern Languages of Program Design, Volume 2 "(with John M. Vlissides and Norman L. Kerth), and "Advanced C++ Programming Styles and Idioms,"
0201548550AB04062001
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall (July 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131467409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131467408
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim ("Cope") Coplien is a speaker and author whose works range from programming and architecture to ethnography and organizational design. He is a founder of the Software Pattern discipline and of organizational patterns, which in turn were one of the foundations of Scrum. Though he writes for a technical audience, his works focus on the human element of product development. His latest work, "Lean Architecture" is as much about how architecture helps make software usable, as it is about software maintainability on the technical side.

Cope lives near Helsingør, Denmark, with his wife and son.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the best book on patterns since the publication of Alexander's A Pattern Language. The book offers four pattern languages containing over 100 patterns that show you how to design, grow, shape and improve an organisation. The patterns are dense, full of insights, wisdom and knowledge; they are based on the authors' more than a decade of research and experience. Many of the patterns are timeless, such as CommunityOfTrust, ConwaysLaw and NamedStableBases. Some patterns are really beautiful, such as WorkFlowsInward, ArchitectAlsoImplements and FormFollowsFunction. Although the book is about organisational patterns, I have found it valuable for anyone who is interested in patterns or wishes to learn about patterns.
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Format: Paperback
OK, I have to admit, this is the first book review I've ever written on Amazon and having read a lot of good books I should probably get off my a** and write more :-)
As a former developer and now a software development manager, I have come to realise that the "soft side" or sociology of software projects (communication with clients, communication with teammates, project management, team dynamics, cultural issues, morale, division of work, remote collaboration, etc) is considerably more complicated than the programming work itself.
Over time, you start to see patterns emerge such as "start a large project with a small experienced group and gradually phase people into a project as time goes on". This book does by far the best job of cataloguing and explaining dozens of these patterns related to (1) software project management (2) structuring, building and nurturing software project teams and (3) organization and division of development tasks to maximize the effectiveness of the team as a whole.
Highly recommended to anyone involved with software development at both the management level and in the trenches. Have fun!
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Format: Paperback
This rare jewel is a practical guide to the deeper secrets and relationships of software development.

It is however based on "true Science", since it was originally based on extensions to Moreno's sociometric techniques, although it reads like literature -- it is art.

To the lucky ones that read it, understand it, and practice it, it will provide, undoubtedly, the passage to a higher level of understanding of how people work, and work best, when doing software devleopment.

Although "agile development" pehaps was first practiced by LISP programmers in the 1960's, Organizational Patterns is perhaps the first documentation that ever existed on true Agile development. No one, to my knowledge, had done so before. (Not Scrum, which started in 1993, nor XP which started much later. etc.)

To the interested readers I only have one simple advice: read every single page -- twice!!, and practice the patterns, many times!!!
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Format: Paperback
Patterns are good - good patterns are better - too many patterns are bad, if not presented well!

Jim Coplien and Neil Harrison definitely mined good org patterns and present them in way one can digest.

Many of them we had the chance of watching getting refined over years in the org pattern community so with the book you get definitely much more than what two persons could collect or research!

One can get out very practical hints if one is willing to spend at least several hours with the book to grasp the ideas and underlying concepts first. Once beyond that hurdle one can harvest details and insights for years.

Based on my own experiences and those of my faciltator group with several hundreds of IT-project retrospectives at Siemens Austria, regarding the concrete findings, the nice thing is, that it seems to be universal and not too culturally different what is summarized. I agree with most pattern core insights.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding book that distills years of experience into a system, a pattern language, that names, organizes, and relates together, many of the experiences and realities that those of us in the world of development have to deal with all of the time. As one who has functioned at many levels in development, I was able to recognize and appreciate most of the patterns. The only cavil I might have is that section 6.2 and on really pulls together what the book is about, and it seemed that it, or some version of it, really belonged in chapter 1.
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Format: Paperback
It's true. There are a lot of patterns here, but most of them are just a page or two and you will remember them, not only because the patterns are well-written and the names are compelling, but because each is tellingly illustrated with a great photo! Some of these may seem like "common sense" -- especially to those of you who are great managers and team builders. Unfortunately, we know how well common sense appears at staff meetings these days :-)! Even the experts, can learn from the research that supports these patterns and some of it is surprising. The pattern "Size the Organization" recommends that teams have no more than 10 members and is one of my personal favorites. As a consultant who facilitates retrospectives across companies I can say that the penalty for not knowing these patterns can be severe. Pick up a copy and let the pictures and the prose draw you in!
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