Thursday, December 13, 2007

Book Recommendations for Agile Development

Continuous Integration, Paul M. Duvall
There's much more to Continuous Integration (CI) than just kicking off lots of builds and this book proves it. I've always been a big fan of CI, but even so I was skeptical that there could be enough material to fill a whole book (283 pages). There's really much more in this book than just CI. The author uses the context of CI to cover lots of software development best practices. Topics include: Continuous Build, Continuous Test, Continuous Inspection, Continuous Database Integration and many more. Release Engineers in particular will want to recommend this book as it eloquently and effectively covers many topics which are RE pet peeves such as "it works on my machine" and creating a consistent directory structure.

Patterns of Agile Practice Adoption, Amr Elssamadisy
This is a no-nonsense book for those that are looking to adopt some Agile practices, but aren't sure where to start. The book will help you to identify which problems you have that Agile practices can help solve and then gives straightforward advice on how to adopt those practices. It is available from InfoQ for free here.

Extreme Programming Explained - 2nd Edition, Kent Beck
Whether you agree with the idea of 3x5 cards or not, Kent's book is a short and easy read that is well worth the effort. A seminal book on Agile development.

Lean Six Sigma, Michael L. George
I read this book because I was interested in learning more about Six Sigma. However, I selected this book because the idea of "Lean" was appealing. The way that the problem and solutions for finished product sitting on a factory floor is explained immediately suggested parallels to finished features sitting in the source repository waiting for release.

Lean Software Development, Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck
These folks have done an excellent job of taking the lessons of Lean manufacturing, pioneered by the Toyota Production System, and translating them to software development. I read "Lean Six Sigma" first and on my next trip to the book store "Lean Software Development" became an obvious choice. Reading this book was the tipping point for me.

Agile Project Management with Scrum, Ken Schwaber
If you are already familiar with Scrum, this is a treasure trove of examples of how it has been applied in the real world.

Software Teamwork: Taking Ownership for Success, Jim Brosseau
Independent of your chosen methodology, the people and the personal interactions are a big factor in the success of any software development project. On an Agile project, the tight feedback loop not only surfaces technical problems faster, it will also make people issues much more apparent. This book offers a great framework for looking at the interactions of individuals, groups, teams, and stakeholders as well as many practical approaches for identifying and addressing specific issues. This is a terrific book to have at your side as you take the Agile plunge. [Link to this book on]

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