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Scott W. Ambler "Author, Agile Database Techniques" RSS Feed (Toronto, Canada)

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The Lean Change Method: Managing Agile Organizational Transformation Using Kanban, Kotter, and Lean Startup Thinking
The Lean Change Method: Managing Agile Organizational Transformation Using Kanban, Kotter, and Lean Startup Thinking
by Jeff Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $45.00
7 used & new from $45.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proven advice that you can apply immediately, June 30, 2015
This is a great book for anyone who is involved with agile/lean transformation. It shares proven advice that I was able to put into practice immediately after reading it. This book is a short and very accessible read.


Eureka!: Discover and Enjoy the Hidden Power of the English Language
Eureka!: Discover and Enjoy the Hidden Power of the English Language
by Walker Royce
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.40
36 used & new from $9.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a great read, December 7, 2011
As a writer I appreciate advice about how to communicate better, and this book is definitely a great resource that I'll keep for years. I was a bit surprised at first that Walker wrote this book as it's a deviation from his usual work around effective software development. Having been lucky enough to have had Walker review some of my own writing over the years at IBM I knew that he knows his stuff, but it wasn't until reading Eureka! that I understood the true depth of his understanding and love of the English language.

I could wax on about why you should read this book, but considering it's the 15h 5-star review in a row I think that topic is covered. 'Nuff said.


A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum (IBM Press)
A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum (IBM Press)
by Elizabeth Woodward
Edition: Paperback
Price: $31.49
40 used & new from $6.99

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource for applying Scrum at scale, June 28, 2010
I work with organizations around the world helping them to scale agile strategies to meet their real-world needs. Although this book is focused on providing strategies for dealing with geographical distribution, it also covers many of the issues that you'll run into with large teams, complex problem domains and complex technical domains. An important aspect of scaling agile techniques is to first recognize that's there's more to scalability than dealing with large teams, something which this book clearly demonstrates.

At the risk of sounding a bit corny, I've eagerly awaited the publication of this book for some time. I've known two of the authors, Elizabeth and Matt, for several years and have had the pleasure of working with them and learning from them as a result. Along with hundreds of other IBMers I watched this book get written and provided input where I could. The reason why I'm so excited about it is that I've wanted something that I could refer the customers to that I work with and honestly say, "yes, we know that this works because this is what we do in practice".

IBM is doing some very interesting work when it comes to scaling agile. We haven't published enough externally, in my opinion, due to a preference for actively sharing our experiences internally. This book collects many of our experiences into a coherent whole and more importantly shares them outside the IBM process ecosystem. Bottom line is that I think that you'll get a lot out of this book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2014 12:01 PM PDT


SDLC 3.0: Beyond a Tacit Understanding of Agile
SDLC 3.0: Beyond a Tacit Understanding of Agile
by Mark Kennaley
Edition: Paperback
Price: $41.11
36 used & new from $24.88

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for software professionals, June 6, 2010
I treat my books harshly, highlighting important ideas and writing my observations and thoughts in the margins as I read, and my copy of SDLC 3.0 is marked up severely. This book presents a realistic and reasoned view of agile software delivery. Note how I use the term delivery and not just development - this book goes far beyond the software development life cycle to consider the full delivery life cycle. It in fact, it goes further to consider how to apply agile and lean concepts at the enterprise level.

If you're a software professional and truly serious about understanding your craft, then this book is a must read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2010 7:33 PM PDT


How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of "Intangibles" in Business
How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of "Intangibles" in Business
by Douglas W. Hubbard
Edition: Hardcover
46 used & new from $6.97

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for IT People Trying to Quantify The Value of What They Do, October 3, 2008
One of the primary challenges with managing and governing IT effectively is that many of the questions that we need to answer are difficult to measure. What is the expected value of a new software project? What is the chance of success? How long will the project take? What architectural strategy is best? How effective is a development technique? What is our level of quality? How good is our production data? And so on.

Although these questions are hard to answer, luckily this book provides some proven advice for easily taking measures that enable us to improve our decision making. To understand the value, and ease of, taking presumably difficult measures, in Chapter 2 Hubbard works through examples from past of great thinkers who didn't give up in the face of the "impossible". For example, around 200 BC Eratothenes estimated the circumference of the Earth by observing the lengths of shadows, Enrico Fermi estimated the power of the first atomic bomb by observing the distance that it blew confetti, and at the age of nine Emily Rosa (who became the youngest person to publish in a scientific journal at the age of 11) measured the ability (or more accurately lack there of) of people claiming to have the ability of therapeutic touch. Chapter 3 goes on to discuss the illusion of intangibles, motivating you to abandon the self-defeating belief that some things are just too hard to measure. Chapter 4 clarifies the measurement problem, focusing on uncertainty and risk, putting you in a better position to effectively reduce business risk through relatively simple measurement.

Chapters 5 through 7 describe more of the fundamentals behind measurements and the value of improved information, and chapters 8 through 10 describe strategies for doing measurements. Being a firm believer in strategies which reflect human behavior, I was particularly interested in chapters 11 through 14 which cover the human issues around measurement, making a hard science soft again.

If you're tasked with improving your internal metrics program, improving your governance strategy, or simply want to learn about strategies to find out what the heck is actually going on within your organization or industry then this book will prove to be a good idea. Hubbard uses straightforward, easy to understand examples throughout the book, thereby simplifying many complex ideas for the reader.


Refactoring Databases: Evolutionary Database Design
Refactoring Databases: Evolutionary Database Design
by Scott W. Ambler
Edition: Hardcover
33 used & new from $21.05

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The focus is on database refactoring, May 2, 2006
This is in response to the review concerned about the minimal coverage of database testing. When Pramod and I wrote the book we decided to focus just on database refactoring itself, which I hope you'll agree that we did. In Chapter 1 we do in fact point out that database regression testing is an important enabler of database refactoring, as is configuration management, agile data modeling, and developer sandboxes. We didn't invest much time on those subjects because we wanted to remain on topic.

We have gone into a fair bit of detail with the individual refactorings. In particular, we provide the source code required to implement each one and show Java examples of how application source would potentially change as the result of the database being refactored. Each refactoring is described as a stand-alone reference, the end result being that if you were to read the book from cover to cover you would see several common themes, such as migrating data and deprecating the original schema, repeated throughout. But, who is going to read reference material cover to cover?

As you know, there are several good books written about configuration management and therefore covering that in detail didn't make much sense to us. The topic of developer sandboxes, although important, likely only rates an article or two. Nobody has written a book specifically about Agile Data Modeling, although with a little bit of searching here on Amazon I have no doubt that you can find a good book or two about Agile Modeling ;-). I definitely agree that a book is needed about database regression testing and I'm thinking seriously about writing one myself.

If you are interested in those topics, I highly suggest that you visit the Agile Data site where I've written extensively about them already. Otherwise, I hope that people find Refactoring Databases to be a comprehensive discussion of this new, leading edge technique.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 27, 2011 7:12 PM PDT


Database Administration: The Complete Guide to Practices and Procedures
Database Administration: The Complete Guide to Practices and Procedures
by Craig S. Mullins
Edition: Paperback
42 used & new from $2.61

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The DBA Book, April 5, 2006
I've forgotten how many times I've recommended this book to people. It's well written, to the point, and covers the topics that you need to know to become an effective DBA.

- Scott Ambler

Thought Leader, Agile Data Method


Prefactoring
Prefactoring
by Kenneth Pugh
Edition: Paperback
Price: $29.95
56 used & new from $1.97

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book covers fundamental design concepts, March 5, 2006
This review is from: Prefactoring (Paperback)
When I first heard the term "prefactoring" I thought "Great, yet another marketing buzzword created solely to sell books and services." Was I ever wrong. Prefactoring summarizes, and provides concrete examples and advice, for developing high-quality code. This book covers the fundamentals which every developer should know but often don't. Among the multitude of techniques, Pugh describes how to reduce coupling, increase cohesion, take an interface-centric approach, and write literate code. Yes, the book is aimed at junior to mid-level developers, but even senior developers will gain a few new insights and will likely be reminded of several good ideas which they had long forgotten.

I'm shocked by some of the misleading reviews which this book has received (one even reviewed other reviews which misrepresented the book to begin with, what's that all about?). Pugh is very clear about refactoring, and I quote "Refactoring is the practice of altering code to improve its internal structure without changing its external behavior." So, with all due respect to the people who claim that Pugh misrepresented refactoring, did you even read the book?

The term "prefactoring" may achieve buzzword status - not because it's a marketing scam but because it represents a collection of solid technical concepts. Prefactoring is a "must read" book for anyone new to software development, and a "should read" book for everyone else. If everyone understood and followed the ideas described in this book, we'd see a doubling of productivity within the IT industry.


Survival of the Savvy: High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success
Survival of the Savvy: High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success
by Rick Brandon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.06
127 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Option for IT People To!, February 24, 2006
Like it or not, office politics is a reality in every organization, in every department, and on every team. Although it's easy to say that you're above politics because you're a techie, or that you're simply not interested in politics, these attitudes are a recipe for career disaster. This book will help you to recognize, and then deal with in an ethical manner, the various types of politics which you will face over the years. You don't need to become a master politician of the Gordon Gekko ilk, but you should at least be able to navigate the political shoals within your organization. This book is a well written, easy read which provides excellent advice for anyone wanting to succeed within their organizations. It provides clear advice for how to detect when your co-workers are undermining you and more importantly when you're undermining yourself. Although not written for IT people directly, it will clearly help you to interact with, and understand better, your project stakeholders, managers, and colleagues.


Competitive Engineering: A Handbook For Systems Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Software Engineering Using Planguage
Competitive Engineering: A Handbook For Systems Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Software Engineering Using Planguage
by Thomas Gilb
Edition: Paperback
Price: $58.95
54 used & new from $19.40

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Read" Book, February 24, 2006
Tom Gilb, the father of the Evo methodology, shares his practical, real-world experience for enabling effective collaboration between developers, managers, and stakeholders in this book. Although the book describes in detail Planguage, a specification language for systems engineering, the methodological advice alone is worth the price of the book. Evo is one of the truly underappreciated agile methodologies and as a result Gilb's thought-provoking work isn't as well known as it should be, although I suspect that this will change with this book. The book describes effective practices for requirements and design specification that are highly compatible with the principles and practices of Agile Modeling, yet it goes on to address planning activities, quality, and impact estimation. I suspect that this book will prove to be one of the "must read" software development books of 2006.


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