- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (April 5, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0201760436
- ISBN-13: 978-0201760439
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #903,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Agile Software Development Ecosystems 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
In a highly volatile software development environment, developers must be nimble, responsive, and able to hit a moving target--in short, they must be agile. Agile software development is designed to address this need for speed and flexibility. Agility describes a holistic, collaborative environment in which you can both create and respond to change by focusing on adaptability over predictability, people over process. Agile software development incorporates proven software engineering techniques, but without the overhead and restrictions of traditional development methodologies. Above all, it fulfills its promise of delivering software that serves the client's business needs.
Written by one of the leaders of the Agile movement, and including interviews with Agile gurus Kent Beck, Robert Charette, Alistair Cockburn, Martin Fowler, Ken Schwaber, and Ward Cunningham, Agile Software Development Ecosystems crystallizes the current understanding of this flexible and highly successful approach to software development. It presents the key practices of all Agile development approaches, offers overviews of specific techniques, and shows how you can choose the approach that best suits your organization.
This book describes--in depth--the most important principles of Agile development: delivering value to the customer, focusing on individual developers and their skills, collaboration, an emphasis on producing working software, the critical contribution of technical excellence, and a willingness to change course when demands shift. All major Agile methods are presented:
- Dynamic Systems Development Method
- Crystal Methods
- Feature-Driven Development
- Lean Development
- Extreme Programming
- Adaptive Software Development
Throughout the book, case stories are used to illustrate how Agile practices empower success around the world in today's chaotic software development industry. Agile Software Development Ecosystems also examines how to determine your organization's Agile readiness, how to design a custom Agile methodology, and how to transform your company into a truly Agile organization.
About the Author
Jim Highsmith is a well-known consultant, software developer, writer, and speaker. He is a founding member of the AgileAlliance, serving on its first board, and is coauthor of the Agile Manifesto. Jim is director of the Agile Project Management Advisory Service for the Cutter Consortium. He is also the author of Adaptive Software Development (Dorset House), winner of the 2000 Jolt Award.
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Top customer reviews
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I have been involved in software projects in different roles( programmer, Architect, manager, integrator etc) for 20 years. I felt that MS project never reflected the work hat was actually done, and that if I wanted things to progress, most of the practices I was asked to do were of little help (Heavy documentation, requirements tractability, lots of very detailed design before coding and other fun stuff).
This book gives a good definition for the things that really matter.
Methodology helps your project only if you adjust it to your people, goal and organization. By giving a broad perspective of agile methodologies, this book enables you to select what should work for you.
And - on top of it - I really enjoyed reading it
This one is an overview of the Agile methods and people behind them -- Scrum, Dynamic Systems Development Method, Crystal Clear, Feature Driven Development, Lean Development, Extreme Programming, Adaptive Software Development, Kent Beck, Alistair Cockburn, Ken Schwaber, Martin Fowler, Ward Cunningham, himself, Bob Charette -- and descriptions of some projects each method was used on.
None of the method descriptions are in-depth enough to actually do them, but they provide enough information to point you into a direction for further investigation. There is some discussion about Agile principles and values, and Agile methods versus non-Agile methods and Company Culture and Market Style, and some discussion on "how to make your own agile methodology" (or how to adapt one to your company's requirements).
I recommend it.
But that's not why you should buy this book. The best thing about the book are the personal interviews with several of the members of the Agile alliance like Kent Beck, Martin Fowler and Alistair Cockburn. The interviews give you special insight into their personalities that reading their own work won't give you, and helps you place their work in context.
The book is light and very readable (rare for a book on software methodology) and you given its structure you can even put it down for a few days and then come back without losing the thread of what is being discussed. Overall, it's a good "endcap" addition to any software developer's bookshelf right after the books on XP, Crystal and SCRUM.
Unfortunately, the interviews drag on a little bit and also start to feel a little bit repetitive. One or two of the high-level overviews are *so* high-level that you come out of them wondering what a concrete picture of it really looks like, especially since, if you go high enough, several of the approaches start to look the same.
This books attempts to convey the rationale and "night thoughts" of veterans who have been the route of traditional methodologies and UML and the hard lessons learned.
It is an interesting and eye-opening book along the line of "The Mythical Man Month" that every software architects, program managers and students of software engineering should read. It does holds its concerns well. An analogy from the art world would be fit here:
It is an "Impressionist" software practices resurgent in responding to traditional "Renaissance" software practices in responding to market forces and expectation and to "get the job done", avoiding over-engineered and over modelled process.
Whether Agile movement will be the last say in software process in the next decade is hard to say.
One big problem with software is that there are lack of accountability that other engineering discipline have and does not seem to fit the shoe as well other disciplines.(civil,electrical,etc). No one got drag to court if a software fails miserably. Compare that to a bridge or house collapsing.
So the ultimate question is "What is Software Engineering and does it makes sense?".
I think by reading this book will provoke you into thinking.
Most of the first set of chapters was like that. The next section covered interviews with various folks who are involved with actually developing and/or using ASDE's. When we started going through those chapters, it improved some, but still kept repeating the same stuff in the first section of chapters. Ok, ok, we get it. ASDE's are the best thing since sliced bread. Let's move onto the actualy detail already?
So we gave up on the interviews and skipped ahead to the end of the book where it talks about the various ASDE's. Unfortunately, it was more of the same. The chapter on Crystal was a joke. It said pretty much nothing.
My suggestion: don't buy this book. It's a waste of your money or your company's money.