- Series: Pragmatic Programmers
- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (April 14, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 097451408X
- ISBN-13: 978-0974514086
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Practices of an Agile Developer: Working in the Real World (Pragmatic Bookshelf) 1st Edition
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"I was familiar with some of the practices mentioned since I own other books from The Pragmatic Bookshelf, but this book brings a lot of those ideas together and presents them in an clear, concise, organized, format. I would highly recommend this book to a new developer or to a development team that wanted to get 'agile,'."
"This book helps you understand what you are missing, or what you can do better. Practices of an Agile Developer makes it easy to become agile, or get even better at it."
About the Author
Venkat Subramaniam, founder of Agile Developer, Inc., has trained and mentored thousands of software developers in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Venkat helps his clients effectively apply and succeed with agile practices on their software projects. He is a frequently invited speaker at international software conferences and user groups.
He's author of ".NET Gotchas" (O'Reilly), coauthor of the 2007 Jolt Productivity award-winning book "Practices of an Agile Developer" (Pragmatic Bookshelf), and author of "Programming Groovy" (Pragmatic Bookshelf).
Andy Hunt is a programmer turned consultant, author and publisher. He co-authored the best-selling book "The Pragmatic Programmer", was one of the 17 founders of the Agile Alliance, and co-founded the Pragmatic Bookshelf, publishing award-winning and critically acclaimed books for software developers.
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Top customer reviews
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This book, however, tops them all in terms of:
- Writing style,
- Organization and tips,
- Ideas that are presented, and
- Overall usefulness.
I love the writing style that Andy Hunt and Venkat Subramaniam use throughout the book. They are very fluid writers, and have no problem expressing complex thoughts simply.
So, onto things in the book!
Each chapter contains several small sub-sections, each of which is a few pages in length. They all start with a quote from a devil (your lazy programmer side), and then explain a certain agile methodology, and finish with an angel quote (your *good* programming side).
I found that each sub-section is structured in the best possible way to really explain why a method is better than another, how it should feel when you do it the right way, and what it is all about.
Each chapter also explains how to transition yourself (and your team) to use the new agile methods successfully, which was a HUGE bonus. So many books talk about why agile is good, and how it rocks, but can't explain how to get people to start using it.
In my own experience, it is easy to want to improve my own work, but I have a hard time motivating my peers to do the same.
If you're looking for an amazing book that will help you (and your team) write smarter, faster, simpler, and more flexible code, than you need to read this book.
I DEFINITELY plan to read "Pragmatic Starter Kit" books, "Ship It!" and "The Productive Programmer" as soon as I can. I am convinced these will all make me a better developer.
I'm leaving 5 stars but I'm not paid for this nor do I get items for free.
What makes the book only average however is the general way that it defends each practice. In contast to another Pragmatic Programmer title, "Ship It!", there is a lack of explaination of the "why" of each practice. In some cases, they take a shot at explaining why, but it general terms that aren't really compelling. (They certainly won't be compelling if management or your peers are skeptical of agile practices.)
Even if you believe in agile, as I do, you need to understand why you do certain things and how each of those practices fit together to support each other. Software development isn't about blindly following a process - you have to understand what you are doing. For that, you'll have to look elsewhere.
This book gives an introduction to various principles, practices and approaches that could collectively be labeled "agile". It's structured into short 2-4 page items much like "The Pragmatic Programmer" (which, like this book, is co-authored by Mr Hunt), and I've seen it sometimes touted as a great sequel to that book (in fact, I think I originally bought it because of that).
I agreed with almost every point made in the book! (Especially with items such as "Keep it Releasable", "Architects Must Write Code", "Be a Mentor", "Review Code".) At the same time, I didn't really learn much from it. If you have ever worked in a smart team doing agile development, chances are there isn't that much new for you either: most of the advice will basically sound like common sense. (Although perhaps this *could* be useful then too, for reinforcing ideas you've had or giving them a name.)
In summary, not a bad book at all, but I'd primarily recommend this only for beginner to intermediate level developers, or those who are new to agile software development. For them this can indeed be a valuable, even inspiring, quick-to-read intro.
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Even now in 2015 I find the text relevant and insightful