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The ThoughtWorks Anthology: Essays on Software Technology and Innovation (Pragmatic Programmers) 1st Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1934356142
ISBN-10: 193435614X
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About the Author

ThoughtWorks is a well-known global consulting firm; ThoughtWorkers are leaders in areas of design, architecture, SOA, testing, and agile methodologies.
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Product Details

  • Series: Pragmatic Programmers
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (March 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193435614X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356142
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,627,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I feel that every techie should take a step back once in a while and reflect on their profession. The ThoughtWorks Anthology: Essays on Software Technology and Innovation by ThoughtWorks, Inc. is one of those books that helps lead you down that path. While there are some good reads in here, the "level of resonance" will likely depend on your language of choice and development methodology...

Contents:
Solving the Business Software "Last Mile" by Rog Singham and Michael Robinson
One Lair and Twenty Ruby DSLs by Martin Fowler
The Lush Landscape of Languages by Rebecca J. Parsons
Polyglot Programming by Neal Ford
Object Calistentics by Jeff Bay
What Is an Iteration Manager Anyway? by Tiffany Lentz
Project Vital Signs by Stelios Pantazopoulos
Consumer-Driven Contracts: A Service Evolution Pattern by Ian Robinson
Domain Annotations by Erik Doernenburg
Refactoring Ant Build Files by Julian Simpson
Single-Click Software Release by Dave Farley
Agile vs. Waterfall Testing for Enterprise Web Apps by Kristan Vingrys
Pragmatic Performance Testing by James Bull

Based on the type of work that ThoughtWorks does and their development methodology, you'll understand and relate a lot more to the material if you're into things like agile development, Ruby, Ant, and other various open source software offerings. Granted, the argument could be made that *everyone* should be using those things, but the reality is that there are plenty of developers who don't or can't for various reasons. But once you get past that point, there's plenty of material here that should get you to think a bit...
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Format: Paperback
One nice thing about collections of short pieces is that you can work your way through them in any order and only read ones that look interesting without worrying about missing crucial information. That's how I read this book, and I enjoyed most of the selections I read. I thought that the one on OO coding was great as it had good concrete exercises to help folks go down that road.

Recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This book is packed with realworld knowledge and experience, written by people who have more than earned their title of expert. It covers many aspects of the software development world and adresses issues that you have most likely run into at some point, or are about to run into. Being able read how the experts deal with these things is very interesting indeed, it can either give you new ideas to better handle the issues, or it can be a confidence boost to see that the experts do things the same way as you.

For me, the part about the Iteration Manager and the performance testing were particularly interesting because I've had quite a few problems with this in the past.

Keep it up Thoughtworks!
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Format: Paperback
This is a terrific book loaded up with 13 short, concise, golden essays from ThoughtWorks leaders like Martin Fowler, Neal Ford, etc. Each topic covers something pretty vital for those of us who care about being somewhere near the top of our chosen craft. Topics include solving the "last mile" problem between development and release, Ruby DSLs, polyglot programming, single-click deployment, and a bunch of other great reads. Each article is extremely well-written and useful, but I found a subset of the book particularly compelling.

Unfortunately, I only heard parts of Neal Ford's "Polyglot Programming" at his keynote at CodeMash 2008. I was thrilled to get to read his article in this book on how to leverage different languages on the same platform to solve different problems.

Jeff Bay's piece "Object Calisthenics" strongly reminded me of the glorious work The Practice of Programming from Kernigan and Pike in its emphasis on clean, simple, clear code. I'm all fired up to refresh my coding practices with Bay's exercise using nine points for pushing yourself into writing better object oriented code.

"Refactoring Ant Build Files" from Julian Simpson, along with Hatcher's Java Development with Ant, should be mandatory reading for anyone dealing with build files -- regardless of what build environment you're using.

Other big winners for me were the testing articles by Kristan Vingrys and James Bull, Dave Farley's work on one-click release, and Stelios Pantazopoulos's article on project vital signs. Of course, the remaining articles are also winners, it's just that these six or so really struck home with me.

Overall it's a fantastic work and I'm really glad I've got it on my bookshelf!
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Format: Paperback
The book didn't fulfill my expectations. I was expecting either:
* Practical advice (e.g. Joel on Software)
* Design ideas (e.g. Beautiful code)
* or even personal and/or professional experience (e.g. Masterminds of programming, or the oral history of CS)

I was not able to recognize them. The only thing that is common to all the chapters is the advocacy and wording of Agile development. However, I didn't understood from the introduction, chapter titles, and previous reviews, that this was the aim of the book.

I do not recommend it.
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