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Book Review: Practices of an Agile Developer

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Practices of an Agile Developer

Long story short, Practices of an Agile Developer is a book I would easily classify in the ranks of Code Complete and The Pragmatic Programmer.

First up, what a great pairing of authors – Venkat Subramaniam and Andy Hunt. Instantly, I knew I was in for a treat.

This book starts out by devoting a chapter to what it means to be ‘agile’. Additionally, it adds references and descriptions to the Agile developers toolkit such as unit testing, continuous integration, source control and the Agile Manifesto.

After you quickly zoom through the first chapter, the book continues by outlining 45 great practices that developers can practice everyday. Using the concept of a devil and an angel, the book shows you how the non-agile developer (devil) works and how they should work (angel). For example:

Item 10: Let Customers Make Decisions

Devil

Developers are creative and intelligent and know the most about the application. Therefor, developers should be making all the critical decisions. Anytime the business people butt in, they just make a mess of things; they don’t understand logic the way we do.

Angel

Let your customers decide. Developers, managers, or business analysts shouldn’t make business-critical decisions. Present details to business owners in a language they can understand, and let them make the decision.

The biggest reason I loved this book was because most of the practices were social engineering improvements instead of software engineering improvements. There was a lot of techniques on improving communication rather than software constructs for building a better mousetrap.

Chapter List

  1. Agile Software Development
  2. Beginning Agility
  3. Feeding Agility
  4. Delivering What Users Want
  5. Agile Feedback
  6. Agile Coding
  7. Agile Debugging
  8. Agile Collaboration
  9. Epilogue: Moving to Agility

The Good

  • 45 very solid and applicable tips for efficient developers
  • Easy and quick read (just like all Pragmatic Programmer series)
  • Each tip has a “What It Feels Like” section in case you haven’t experienced it before
  • Simple section layout adds to the easy reading

The Bad

  • The buzzword agile is overused and should be replaced with disciplined, great, master, or responsible
  • The simple section layout gets a little old and repetitive
  • Should have been renamed – 45 Habits of Highly Effective Developers


This book is an absolute must read for both developers and managers of all levels
. Not since Code Complete have I been so excited to read a tech book cover to cover in one day. If you want to ensure that you and your team is performing optimal pick up this book today!

5 StarsPractices of an Agile Developer

Notice: All reviews on codesqueeze are not paid nor are traded for services. These reviews are shared so you may save time in your quest for better tools.

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Comments

3 Responses to “Book Review: Practices of an Agile Developer”

  1. Russell Ball on October 14th, 2007 11:19 pm

    I really like your format for a book review and the fact that you included a sample, the chapter list, and a quick Good/Bad summary section. I was going to write a book review post in the next couple of weeks and I am going to shamelessly steal this approach…:-)

  2. Book Reviews » Blog Archive » Book Review: Practices of an Agile Developer on October 15th, 2007 5:53 pm

    […] Max Pool wrote an interesting post today on Book Review: Practices of an Agile DeveloperHere’s a quick excerptDevelopers, managers, or business analysts shouldn’t make business-critical decisions. Present details to business owners in a language they can understand, and let them make the decision. The biggest reason I loved this book was … […]

  3. Book Summary: Practices of an Agile Developer « All Wrong on April 28th, 2011 6:55 am

    […] book is divided into 45 practices (one reviewer suggested it be renamed, “45 Habits of Highly Effective […]

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