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The Agile Samurai: How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software (Pragmatic Programmers) Paperback – October 5, 2010
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"This book is very well written. Rasmusson uses an entertaining writing style that makes it pleasant to read from beginning to end. What I like the most is the author experience. The way he presents the topics dealing with role assignation (chapter 2) and reality in agile planning (chapter 8) is simply remarkable."
"The Agile Samurai is the book I wish I’d read before I started my last agile project. The chapters on agile project inception alone are worth the price of admission."
"The Agile Samurai is exactly the book you and your team need to understand and deliver using the agile method. It makes the concepts tactile for everyone from the highest level of leadership to the people pushing forward on the front lines."
—Jessica Watson, Business Analyst,Shaw Communications
About the Author
As an experienced entrepreneur and former agile coach for ThoughtWorks, Jonathan Rasmusson has consulted internationally, helping others find better ways to work and play together. When not coaching his sons' hockey teams or cycling to work in the throes of a Canadian winter, Jonathan can be found sharing his experiences with agile delivery methods at his blog, http://agilewarrior.wordpress.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author's style of writing is more enjoyable than other books on agile because he presents the material from several angles, provides nice visuals, and writes in a lighthearted manner. The Audible version is great. I liked it so much that I purchased the book. I've re-read it several times.
I'm not a software developer, but I am able to apply the concepts from the first 3/4 of the book to most of my project-related work.
The book consists for 5 parts: 1) Introduction Agile, 2) Project Inception, 3) Project Planning, 4) Project Execution, and 5) Creating Software. Each of these parts cover what you would expect of them. Most major agile techniques are covers, such as chartering, stories, relative estimation, visual management and much more. The descriptions are easy to follow, though I felt at times it was a bit too verbose. (perhaps the attempts of humor? :P)
The first 4 parts focus mostly on the "project management" side of Agile Development. I was a bit surprised by the amount of focus on inception and chartering, but I guess it is useful from the typical outsourced project perspective (which is what the author seems most familiar with). Only the last part focuses a bit on the agile development practices as it briefly introduces unit testing, refactoring, and test-driven development.
All in all, the Agile Samurai is a decent introduction to Agile Project Management. It is a good first book on Agile development... but probably not a good second book as it doesn't go very deep in the subjects. There were times that I felt the author could have done a better job though. One example is his role description of the roles in a team.... after explaining that in Agile teams there are no real roles. I felt this was a very mixed message and the author could have been a lot clearer on this and how the teams work. There were other examples, but this one stands out. Therefore, I'll go for 3 stars (almost 4).
One does not need to be a developer to appreciate the contents of this book. In fact, most of the insights in Agile Samurai would probably be more helpful for managers and nontechnical workers overseeing technical projects than for developers themselves.
The writing style is very informal; the author uses a conversational tone throughout the book. Almost every page contains illustrations, which makes it an easy and quick read. The style of the book is comparable to the Head First books. It left me with the the impression that I sat in an all-day meeting where someone said a lot of intelligent things to which everyone else agreed. Unfortunately, not many of these things seemed radically new or thought-provoking, so I fear I won't remember many of them next month. Of course, this may be entirely my own fault. I prefer a more formal, concise, old-school language. I also prefer dense and meaty text books with lots of diagrams, numbers and formulas. In return, I can dispense with stick figures, pictograms, and even with Master Sensei (a guru character used in the book). I feel that a lot of the deeper and more complex issues of agile project management have simply been left out.
To be fair, it must be mentioned that I probably do not fall into the target group for which this book was written. It is more appropriate as an introductory text for people who are new to agile project management, or even new to the entire business of project management. Think "trial lesson" and "starter course".
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