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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (7 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356432
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am co-author of a book on "Agile Coaching" with Liz Sedley.

I live in the UK where I coach teams in agile software development techniques, such as planning with user stories and test-driven development.

I love going to agile conferences and running interactive workshops. In my spare time, I like organizing agile conferences large and small. I got a great buzz putting together Agile2008 conference with 1500 attendees and 400 speakers. But my favorite events are much smaller, like Agile Coaches Gathering.

I have also served the agile community on the board of directors of not-for-profit Agile Alliance (from 2003 to 2010).

Product Description

About the Author

Rachel Davies provides expert coaching to teams in Agile software development techniques, such as Test-Driven Development and planning with User Stories. She has been working with Agile teams using XP and Scrum since 2000. Rachel is internationally recognized in the agile community, a frequent presenter at industry conferences worldwide, and a director of Agile Alliance.

Liz Sedley is an Agile Coach and .Net Developer working in London, UK. She has fifteen years industry experience, mostly as a C++ / C# developer. Liz has spent the last four years enabling companies to be more Agile.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. A. Swann on 14 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
I have seen Agile coaching in action! While the value of coaching a software team in any form of best practice cannot be underestimated, it can also be extremly destructive if the coaches don't have any experience of writing software at the sharp end, merely a collection of letters after their names that give them a false sense of confidence that knowledge gained in the circles of academia can be unswervingly applied to the real world.

Here is where the difference comes in. From reading Rachel and Liz's book it was pretty clear that they don't see their work as a textbook that can be applied to any software dilemma but more as a series of guidlines and techniques that can be used to improve teamwork, communication and job fulfillment. After reading this book I quickly came to the conclusion that I needed someone with proven agile coaching experience to help me set up my software team. I use the Agile Coaching book as my point of reference, while I am in the lucky situation of being able to build my team around what I have learnt in the book, I wish I had this kind of help when I was working with large legacy teams from non agile backgrounds.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Methods & Tools Software Development Magazine on 1 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
There was a time when software developers worked with consultants that will do things for their company or teach some technical knowledge. Agile approaches have brought forward another type of people: coaches. According to Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley, a coach doesn't tell you what to do, rather she shows you how she thinks you might do things and hope that it will help you to improve your situation. She leads by example. It is not easy to write a book on this type of topic. The authors recognize this situation and manage to achieve a good balance between general advice and practical usage reports.

The first part of the book is concentrated on the basics of coaching and communicating in software project. The software development curricula are often weak on "people" skills and you are not always lucky to find the right person as a supervisor when you get out of school. The second part goes through the different activities of a typical Agile project (daily meeting, user stories definition, planning, etc.) and discuss how coach can help a project team to achieve its goals. Each chapter has a final checklist and the book is also full of "personal stories" from the authors that enhance the theoretical advice, applying it on real situations.

Although the title of the book and some of its content might make you think that its value is limited to an agile context, I will recommend this book to every person that has some supervision function in software development organizations and to every developer who believe than acquiring additional "people" skill might improve its work environment. Just changing the way you talk with colleagues could lead to having more sunnier days at the office.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Chung on 27 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
So what is "Agile Coaching"?

Chances are, you've heard this phrase being knocked around at work or from reading blogs. In the software development community, it's refreshing to find a well written and informative book that cuts through the jargon and buzz words.

The book provides real practical advice on how to apply techniques and methods that aid both day to day development and long term project outlooks.

The authors' experience shines through in this essential addition to the bookshelf.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Yves Hanoulle (@YvesHanoulle) on 5 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
Agile Coaching is the book I wish I had read when I started coaching my first team. While agile is spreading fast, a lot of people take on coaching roles, these people finally have a book to find the answer for their questions.
The book Rachel & Liz wrote is not only good for people new to coaching, as a seasoned coach, I found some new idea's (Standup Checkov), it refreshed rusted idea's (ping pong programming), and challenged some other (no comments). This is one of the books I know I will at least skim (probably read) once a year. Liz and Rachel assembled an enormous amount of tips to help you coach (agile) teams.
If you read one book about coaching it should be this one. If you want to read more, you will find in the book the necessary info on where to find more detail about a topic. (Although they have found a way to explain most idea's at least as good as the original author.) On top of all this, while reading the book, it was as if Rachel and Liz where right beside me to help me with all their experience.
This was a book I was waiting for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michal Vallo on 14 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is my first book about Agile Coaching, and I am a bit disappointed. My expectation was learning about coaching in agile environment. This topic is however covered by few pages only. Being scrum coach myself, I do not expect coach to be expert on techniques of software development, as author indirectly suggest. We employ programmers, because it is them those experts. In the book author does not distinguish between coach and Scrum Master or some technical lead. That makes me think the attempt was writing book about organization of work and not coaching, just wrong title. On the other hand, there are few points I found interesting, e.g. last chapter Growing You, which many IT people should read.
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