- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional (October 22, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0201699699
- ISBN-13: 978-0201699692
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,264,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Agile Software Development
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From the Back Cover
"Coming of age for software developers means understanding that software is a cooperative effort, not something individuals do in isolation. This is a book that teams of software developers can thrive upon, full of sensible advice for a cooperative development approach."
--Tom DeMarco, The Atlantic Systems Guild
Software development paradigms are shifting. The development group's "team" ability, and the effects of the individual developer, become more important as organizations recognize that the traditional approach of increasing process pressure and overworking team members is not meeting getting the job done. The pioneers of Agile methodologies question the preconceived processes within which development teams work. Rather than adding to the burden of the individual developer, Agile asks "how can we change the process so that the team is more productive, while also improving quality?" The answer is in learning to play the "game."
Written for developers and project managers, Agile Software Development compares software development to a game. Team members play the game knowing that the ultimate goal is to win--always remembering what they have learned along the way, and always keeping in mind that they will never play the same way twice. Players must keep an open mind to different methodologies, and focus on the goal of developing quality software in a short cycle time.
Based on a decade's work and research, and interviews with software project teams, this book presents sound advice for bringing difficult projects to successful conclusion with a minimum of stress. It includes advice on:
- The principals behind agile methodologies
- Which methodologies fit different projects--including appendixes to select the appropriate methodology on a project
- New vocabulary for describing methodologies
- Just-in-time methodology tuning
- Managing the incompleteness of communication
- Continuous methodology reinvention
- The manifesto for agile software development
Today's software developers need to recognize that they have a number of methodologies to choose from. With this book as a guide, they can break free of nonproductive habits, move beyond old routines, and clear a new path to success.
About the Author
Alistair Cockburn is a recognized expert on use cases. He is consulting fellow at Humans and Technology, where he is responsible for helping clients succeed with object-oriented projects. He has more than twenty years of experience leading projects in hardware and software development in insurance, retail, and e-commerce companies and in large organizations such as the Central Bank of Norway and IBM.
Top customer reviews
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The impetus for this approach came from the realization that more was not better. A common statement from successful project teams was: "...what we want to express doesn't get captured in ... models...(it's) what we say to each other while drawing on the board." From this Cockburn found "...successful teams were still delivering software without using our latest energy-saving ideas... a well-functioning team of adequate people will complete a project almost regardless of the process or technology..."
Cockburn gives his recommended standard methodology structure of 13 inter-related elements as well as a discussion of Agile Techniques and his own Crystal Methodology. Cockburn stresses the human equation as well as using tools that are appropriate to the circumstances - i.e., the particular project and available resources.
Tucked away in the Appendices are more gems. Appendix A covers The Agile Alliance group and it's Agile Software Development Manifesto - a 12-point summary of key principles. Appendix B has brief summaries of three interesting works along with Cockburn's commentaries: Peter Naur's 1985 article, Programming as Theory Building, Pelle Ehn's now out of print, Work-Oriented Development of Software Artifacts, and 17th- century samurai Miyamoto Musashi's The Book of Five Rings.
The book contains a wealth of information for the experienced designer or programmer; it is not a book for beginners. Cockburn ends his commentary of Ehn "...I evidently wasn't ready to read very many of his words in 1993...(I) wonder how many other concepts he mentions, but which I haven't yet noticed. I hope you take the time to reread this article in another year or two."
I would suggest that Agile Software Development be reread every year or two also.
The book is an eye opener for the software development profession. He discusses very much things which sometimes have come up (by people like Jerry Weinberg) but never really made it in the mainstream. This is what this book has done, bring them out. These are things like different skill levels of people, cost of not being colocated, different processes for different size groups, impact of skills on the size of the group etc.
The book is sometimes abstract though. It doesn't always takes concrete solutions. If that's what you expect then you might be dissapointed.
Now 5 years after publication, this is still relevant and still in the top 10 list of Agile books. A must read!
Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game (2nd Edition) (Agile Software Development Series)
This edition is way out of date and the new book includes the lion's share of this version plus a whole bunch more.
Don't make the mistake I did. :-)