Author: Will Stott and James W. Newkirk
Publisher: Addison Wesley, 2007
Aimed at: Agile developers
Pros: Detailed and technical
Reviewed by: Mike James
Will Stott, one of the authors of this book on VSTS, is a contributor to VSJ so you would expect this book to be at least 50% not bad! In fact it’s much better than this, with my main complaint being the arm strain it causes if you have to carry it about with you. At over 800 reasonably full pages with few gratuitous screen dumps, it contains a lot of information. Some might find it too much and it can be difficult to know what is safe to skip and what isn’t. To be clear it isn’t a difficult read but there is a lot of it.
It focuses on the agile approach to team programming and there is almost standard “narrative” approach to giving you the feel of how agile works – an everyday story of a typical agile development team in action complete with mug shots to make them seem even more real. This didn’t work well for me but perhaps I’ve read too many similar storylines. I would have preferred the space to be devoted to explaining best practices or at least more about the technology. Even if you aren’t going to adopt the agile methodology there is a lot to help you get the best out of VSTS but it is especially strong on agile planning, test driven development (using Framework for Integrated Testing FIT), refactoring, agile modelling and on the philosophy and expectations of the agile approach as it applies to the VSTS user. However the criticisms are minor, this is a very good book on agile VSTS and highly recommended.
<Reviewed in VSJ>