Top critical review
One person found this helpful
on 12 October 2016
When my employer transitioned to use agile, we participated in agile training which consisted of an all-day lecture with provided notes, plus they joined in the “agile ceremonies” to lead the sessions and provide ideas.
There are some key ideas to agile which ensure quality throughout the process, and to provide small, incremental releases. Such ideas includes automation, test-driven development, flexible roles and more. This book does contain this information with examples of the author's (Lisa & Janet) experiences.
However, it's 533 pages long which is far too lengthy to get these points across. There's sections which really drag, with the constant reference to using FitNesse (75 mentions in total), which highlights the fact that there's plenty of text which could be cut. There's also lots of generic software development advice, rather than focussing on agile testing which the introduction emphasises. A big part of agile is finding out what works for your team and discussing the process in your retrospectives, rather than having a strict method that you must follow. The main point here, is that I found the training I received in my workplace (and trying to put it into practice) to be more helpful than this book.
I felt the example scenarios were very hit and miss. Some of them were great examples, whilst others seemed to simply exist to boost the author's ego. There's plenty that are structured like “company X had terrible practices until Lisa/Janet joined the company and suggest they do Y. After this, the company was highly productive”.
I think Agile books are inherently hard to write given it is very theoretical. Sure you can include the ideas, but can't provide specific instructions given that the methods aren't 'set in stone'. I do believe books like this need to be concise rather than verbose, otherwise it detracts from their utility. This is the reason why this book misses the mark.