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Agile in a Flash: Speed-Learning Agile Software Development (Pragmatic Programmers) Paperback – 4 Feb 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (4 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356719
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356715
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jeff Langr has been building software for over a quarter century. He is the author of Agile Java and Essential Java Style, plus more than 80 articles on software development and a couple chapters in Uncle Bob’s Clean Code. He runs Langr Software Solutions (http://langrsoft.com) from Colorado Springs and happily builds software as an employee of GeoLearning.

Tim Ottinger has over 30 years of software development experience including time as an agile coach, OO trainer, contractor, in-house developer, and even a little team leadership and management. He is also a contributing author to Clean Code. He writes code. He likes it.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. J. Jepps on 17 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This deck of cards has most of what you really need to get started using Agile software development. The basics are on the front of each card, and the details are in the fine print on the back. Despite the industry that has grown up around agile methods, the concepts are straightforward. The main problem is that some of the existing culture has to be unlearned for the methods to work. You don't have to be a guru or have a certification to use agile methods effectively. Those things mainly help you with the first step: getting permission to try. To start to implement your agile process, read one of the slim volumes by Ken Schwaber or Mike Cohn. That will put you ahead of most. Then find a way of explaining the concepts to your agile team. These cards can help you create a cheap and fun way to achieve that. You'll probably find that you leave the cards behind very quickly. Like any entry-level tool, that will show that they worked.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Super resource for teams of all skill levels 7 Feb. 2011
By Lisa Crispin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've worked on agile teams for more than ten years. I'm amazed at the quality and quantity of information in this concise little deck of cards. You really could learn how to implement agile principles and values from these cards. My current team has been doing Scrum, XP and Lean practices since 2003, so I thought there wouldn't be anything new for us in these cards, but I was wrong. There are nuggets of information to drive new discussion and improvement, such as the Toyota Production System Principles.

The first day we had the cards, one of our programmers refactored some code to reflect a change in business terminology and got rid of the old code. Lesser programmers might have just hacked in the terminology change, but he did it the right way - harder in the short term, but keeping our technical debt low for the long term. Our ScrumMaster pulled out card #6, Courage, which includes "To always deliver quality work" and "To throw away unneeded code and tests". It was nice affirmation that we did the right thing.

We put cards that interest us up on the task board to think about, and we plan to read and discuss a card at each team retrospective. They're a great learning tool for everyone from agile newbies to high-functioning, experienced teams.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
There's more in here than you might think. 10 Mar. 2011
By George Dinwiddie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When Jeff and Tim first asked my opinion on turning their Agile in a Flash blog posts into physical cards for sale, I was pretty lukewarm. What was the value in cards with short pithy lists about various aspects about Agile? Some of these lists were not even new, but things in common use on the email discussion groups. I regretfully told them I didn't think there was much market for them.

But I continued to read their blog--not regularly, but dipping in and out either on a whim or triggered by some comment made on the discussion groups. And I found myself shifting focus from the pithy lists that are now on the front of the cards, to the thoughtful and nuanced interpretation that is now condensed to fit the back of the cards. I found descriptions that were some of the best treatments of the /heart/ of Agile (rather than just the theory or mechanism) that I have ever heard. And I found insights that were valuable to me, an experienced Agile coach, yet still accessible to those new to Agile.

Jeff and Tim bring an uncommon clarity of expression to this work. They demonstrate an uncommon simultaneous depth and breadth of understanding. I have often, since they first asked, wished their cards were available so I could hand one to a client.

And now I can.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent tool for any Agile team 6 Feb. 2011
By Brandon Carlson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I love this format. A set of 50 cards covering nearly every aspect of Agile Software Development, one focused topic per card. The diversity of the topics included in the deck make it relevant to pretty much anyone from the CEO to the engineering team. I like being able to discuss an idea with someone and have a physical card that I have annotated during the conversation to leave as a reminder. It really helps drive the information home. I would be interested in seeing the authors put together a similar deck around development topics like TDD/Refactoring patterns for when I teach courses around development practices. If they had one, I'd certainly be a customer of that as well.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Wondrous Collection of Agile 30 July 2011
By Andrés C. Quintian - Product Lead - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not only is it a fantastic collection of guidelines, warnings and excercises, but also, of tremendous value for anyone and everyone involved in the software industry for working towards truly being agile.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Simple and cheap cards with priceless tips 20 Mar. 2011
By Juhola Tomi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been working with agile development and agile teams for a bit over 5 years now. I've taught the same lessons to hundreds of people and coached some of them through the transition. The thing that I always have to concentrate on is to remember to repeat the same basic principles again and again, as well as make sure that they understand the underlying values. I also usually give the teams a list of useful books, and pray for at least someone of them would read some of those books. The Agile in a Flash cards are a perfect tool to ease this.

The simple cards with very central instructions can be used various ways. Use them as guidance in agile trainings, help out teams with the cards, discuss the cards with your team, learn a new aspect daily, spread the cards around organization and at the same time spread agile thinking.

I'm looking forward for the extension set to this deck of cards from Tim and Jeff. Maybe a deck of coaching & facilitation tools...?
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