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The Art of Agile Development Paperback – November 2, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0596527679 ISBN-10: 0596527675 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (November 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596527675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596527679
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Pragmatic guide to agile software development

About the Author

James Shore has been leading teams in Agile development since 1999. A team member on that first project introduced him Ward Cunningham's wiki, where they were talking about a crazy idea called Extreme Programming. Despite the ridiculous name, James tried Extreme Programming on his next project and discovered that it worked far better than it sounded. James has been speaking, teaching, and writing about Agile methods ever since. Today, he continues to lead Agile teams using the best ideas from Scrum, Extreme Programming, and Lean.

James has contributed a large number of projects and ideas to the Agile community. He authored the first test-driven development framework for .NET web programming and coordinated the development of Ward Cunningham's Fit, the first major acceptance-testing tool. In 2005, the Agile Alliance recognized James with their highest honor, the Gordon Pask Award for Contributions to Agile Practice. James is a featured speaker at conferences around the world. He may be found online at jamesshore.com.

Shane Warden manages Onyx Neon Press, an independent publisher. His areas of expertise include agile software development, language design, and virtual machines for dynamic languages. He is also a published novelist. His books include The Art of Agile Development and Masterminds of Programming.


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Customer Reviews

Very informative and easy to understand!
Rebecca Sarver
I highly recommend The Art of Agile Development as a good read for both beginning and experienced agilists.
Walter Bodwell
A great up to date book on agile software development.
Mark Pearl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Malbery on November 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Art of Agile Development is one of my best purchases in a long time. I've read a lot of Extreme Programming and Agile Software Development books and this one really nails it. Many are too theoretical, vague, or just plain developer-centric. This book however is of real practical value to everyone in the team: customers/business analysts, testers, and developers alike.

The book builds around 37 agile development practices in five categories: Thinking, Collaborating, Releasing, Planning, and Developing. Respective examples of practices are: Energized Work, Ubiquitous Language, No Bugs, Vision, and Incremental Design & Architecture. It's obvious that the authors are experienced practitioners as the text is littered with symptoms of common problems and remedial advice. Each practice has a clear explanation, answers to common questions, results you should expect to see, and when to and when not to adopt the practice given your current environment.

As a developer I'm finding this book invaluable. It's helped me think and communicate far more succinctly and effectively - even for material I was intimately familiar with. It's also a book that's accessible to everyone in and outside the team. In short, this is a great book.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Rob Myers on December 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is very well-timed. Now that agile development practices are "crossing the chasm" towards professionally accepted standards, this book reminds us that "agile" is neither a narrow, prescriptive set of standardized practices, nor a free-for-all smorgasbord of every possible practice.

This book will give teams and their management the information necessary to make informed decisions about the make-up of a software product team, and how it operates. The Art of Agile Development is intelligent, thoughtful, professional, and realistic. It is based on years of varied experiences, and it reveals a well-tested set of recommendations.

Part I

The book starts out with high-altitude answers to "Why?" and "How?" and a satisfying definition of "success." This is followed by a story of a hypothetical XP team. The story is full of dialog revealing the day-to-day functioning of a well-running team as a new hire joins the team. That dialog may seem contrived, but it's likely more of a composite of things heard on various teams. Yes, agile teams do enjoy their work, and people who enjoy their work talk about it as portrayed. I think this portrayal brings forth an important decision for the reader: Do you suspect that your development teams could truly run more smoothly, or are you merely looking for a way to dismiss this weird new "agile movement" and get on with your agonizing career? (Either way, keep reading!)

Part II

The second section of the book is a detailed exploration of the development practices recommended by the authors. There are a number of practices recognizable from XP, with some additional thoughtful practices, some realistic alterations, and some notable replacements.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James Holmes on February 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've been working through this book for the last five or six weeks and have been loving it. Usually I do a deep skim read of most books -- the kind of reading you do in college where you need to get the gist of a book and some of the pearls -- but this one's grabbed me into an intense period of reading, reflecting, and re-reading parts.

Warden and Shore have written a fantastic work here. The book covers all aspects of Agile from planning to delivery, and each aspect is broken down into sensible sections. It reads like a series of great articles on very granular components of Agile such as Refactoring, 10-Minute Build, or Stand Up Meetings, but it's so well-written that all the articles mesh together perfectly leaving a smooth path through the book.

Each article (and that's my description, not theirs) lays out a specific practice or component of Agile, walks you through the benefits of it, details how that practice fits in the larger picture, shows you how to implement that practice, and discusses how to identify when you might need to implement or rework the practice. Each article is extremely well done and approaches its topic from a very pragmatic view. There are also cross-references to other practices elsewhere in the book that can help you solve related issues. Additionally, there are great references to other books, articles, and web posts.

Overall the book's just terrific. It's easy to read, it's pragmatic and practical, and it's thought-provoking. Art of Agile Development can be used by newcomers interested in moving into Agile practices, but it's also absolutely applicable to Agile pros looking to improve their own system. It certainly got me fired up with a number of ideas on how to improve our process even more. Perhaps that's the best endorsement of this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By George Romaniuk on May 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
My encounter with agile took place in 2004 when my company wanted to formalize the entire product development process. We took this opportunity to learn more about agile and apply it our software development.

I read few short articles and a book about agile but there was not enough practical information to convince us that we will be safe embracing agile methodology.

I learned about this book quite recently from practitioners of agile, read the book and also participated in a very interesting discussion club.

The title of this book is in my opinion little misleading - I was expecting to read about some esoteric topics related to agile software development but to my great surprise I found almost a "Manual" or a "Handbook" of agile software development.

The art is being taught in a very well defined environment, little too idealized in my opinion but with clear boundaries and good instructions what to do in case your situation is outside of this environment. I read the book from page one in natural page order and noticed that the book was getting more interesting as I was progressing.

There is a great body of down to earth instructions for beginners, not only related to pure software development but also relevant to setting up the team in your company's environment.

The book also offers good discussion of product requirements, the role and approach to testing and to some extent - making decisions regarding software architecture.

The book has a phenomenal bibliography and inspired many thoughts about the nature of software development and similarities between software development and industrial mass production environment

I am sure that the book is not going to end the writing career of the authors and a follow-up will be available soon, discussing issues like rewards and compensation in companies practicing agile methodology.
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