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The Art of Agile Development [Paperback]

James Shore , Shane Warden
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.99
Price: 18.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Nov 2007

The Art of Agile Development contains practical guidance for anyone considering or applying agile development for building valuable software. Plenty of books describe what agile development is or why it helps software projects succeed, but very few combine information for developers, managers, testers, and customers into a single package that they can apply directly.

This book provides no-nonsense advice on agile planning, development, delivery, and management taken from the authors' many years of experience with Extreme Programming (XP). You get a gestalt view of the agile development process, including comprehensive guidance for non-technical readers and hands-on technical practices for developers and testers.

The Art of Agile Development gives you clear answers to questions such as:

  • How can we adopt agile development?
  • Do we really need to pair program?
  • What metrics should we report?
  • What if I can't get my customer to participate?
  • How much documentation should we write?
  • When do we design and architect?
  • As a non-developer, how should I work with my agile team?
  • Where is my product roadmap?
  • How does QA fit in?
The book teaches you how to adopt XP practices, describes each practice in detail, then discusses principles that will allow you to modify XP and create your own agile method. In particular, this book tackles the difficult aspects of agile development: the need for cooperation and trust among team members.

Whether you're currently part of an agile team, working with an agile team, or interested in agile development, this book provides the practical tips you need to start practicing agile development. As your experience grows, the book will grow with you, providing exercises and information that will teach you first to understand the rules of agile development, break them, and ultimately abandon rules altogether as you master the art of agile development.

"Jim Shore and Shane Warden expertly explain the practices and benefits of Extreme Programming. They offer advice from their real-world experiences in leading teams. They answer questions about the practices and show contraindications - ways that a practice may be mis-applied. They offer alternatives you can try if there are impediments to applying a practice, such as the lack of an on-site customer.

--Ken Pugh, Author of Jolt Award Winner, Prefactoring

"I will leave a copy of this book with every team I visit."

--Brian Marick, Exampler Consulting

Frequently Bought Together

The Art of Agile Development + Agile Estimating and Planning (Robert C. Martin) + Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process (Addison-Wesley Signature)
Price For All Three: 64.42

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (5 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596527675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596527679
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 17.8 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

Book Description

Pragmatic guide to agile software development

About the Author

James Shore has been leading teams in Agile development since 1999. A team member on that first project introduced him Ward Cunningham's wiki, where they were talking about a crazy idea called Extreme Programming. Despite the ridiculous name, James tried Extreme Programming on his next project and discovered that it worked far better than it sounded. James has been speaking, teaching, and writing about Agile methods ever since. Today, he continues to lead Agile teams using the best ideas from Scrum, Extreme Programming, and Lean.

James has contributed a large number of projects and ideas to the Agile community. He authored the first test-driven development framework for .NET web programming and coordinated the development of Ward Cunningham's Fit, the first major acceptance-testing tool. In 2005, the Agile Alliance recognized James with their highest honor, the Gordon Pask Award for Contributions to Agile Practice. James is a featured speaker at conferences around the world. He may be found online at

Shane Warden manages Onyx Neon Press, an independent publisher. His areas of expertise include agile software development, language design, and virtual machines for dynamic languages. He is also a published novelist. His books include The Art of Agile Development and Masterminds of Programming.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great springboard into Agile and XP. 2 April 2008
After reading a couple of books on Agile, The Art of Agile Development does the best job of presenting all the ideas and concepts needed to start putting it all into practice. Previously I've been left with questions about how to go about implementing certain ideas or mis-understood key concepts, I felt able enough to start putting a lot of Agile and XP concepts into practice straight away.

The material itself is very digestable and written in a great down to earth manner. Rather then being a case of teacher lecturing to their student, it felt a lot like someone who's been there and gone through all the pains before hand, had come round to visit one afternoon to tell you what they had learnt and what they believe works best.

I've recommended this book to nearly all my development friends and work colleagues/bosses in different departments and even offered to buy the skeptical one their own copy.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A warts and all account of Agile development 11 Jan 2008
By Hudba
I received this book then skimmed the authors biographies to see if they are web 2.0 hippies. My experience with the agile method is that is used to excuse sloppy work practises or when a developer wants to avoid boring stuff like documentation, requirements gathering, project planning or testing. I rank it along side similar claims such as graphic designers cannot arrive at work on-time and sober because artistic inspiration only strikes early in the morning in night clubs while talking to beautiful people. In short I don't understand it and it is what the cool people do.

My objectives of reading this book were to

Understand what agile Development really is.
Assess whether adopting agile methods will be of benefit to our team.

This book helped me partially achieve both of them quite easily so I recommend it.

My major reservation is that I'd appreciate more support for the book via a web site. James Shore has a good site but [...]
is the only page I could find about the book.

There was a checklist to determine how Agile are the work processes are that I use at the moment. I'd like this to be provided on a website and to be interactive.
The provision of more code examples and templates would be also useful.

The art of agile development does not evangelise or attempt to hard sell Agile. The case studies given seem contrived but are used by the authors give a warts and all account of Agile development. On finishing reading this book I feel I am much more aware of the potential benefits and risks of this approach but not confident it's the right way to go.

This book plays the role of an honest consultant rather then a salesman. James Shore and Shane Warden are skilful writers and have covered a technical subject with élan. If you are anyway involved in software production and considering Agile, then buy it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This book is a treasure. Not only does it explain Agile Development
clearly and entertainingly, but it is thoroughly grounded in how it pans
out in real organisations. It also covers several business and software
engineering issues which I didn't expect, such as unit testing
techniques and process improvement.

It is aimed at people who want to start using Extreme Programming on
their software development projects. It seems that XP is almost, but not
quite, synonymous with Agile Development. For each of its principles, we
learn the concept, what the outcome should be, how it might go wrong,
and where to read more. Sometimes there is a short FAQ section. If your
existing organisation can't incorporate this principle; sometimes you
can make up for it in other ways, or sometimes you can follow the
principle while still satisfying your bosses.

The book starts with the thoughtful principles of XP, such as pair
programming (continuous review and better design through discussion),
energised work (sleep well, be motivated, and focus when in the
office), an informative workspace (sharing progress with the team),
root cause analysis (ask "why" 5 times, to get to a more substantial
answer), retrospectives. The book goes on to collaborating: sit
together, real customer involvement, and more. The next part is
releasing: continuous integration, weekly iterations, all the follow-on
tasks like integration done. Planning includes product vision, release
planning, iterations (development cycles), risk, stories (tasks), and
estimating. Finally, the principles of development include incremental
requirements, test-driven development, refactoring, and simplicity.
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Paolo
There are already some good reviews of this book, so I just want to point out that it focuses only on XP. Anyway a priceless book about extreme programming.
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