Lean-Agile Software Development

Author: Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver & James R. Trott
Publisher: Addison Wesley, 2009
Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-0321532893
Aimed at: Beginners at lean-agile
Rating: 4
Pros: A reasonable overview
Cons: Strange logical progression
Reviewed by: Andrew Johnson

This book is a fairly standard introduction to agile development with some lean principles thrown in. The book consists of three parts: first "Extending our view beyond projects"; second "Lean project management" and last "Looking back, looking forward."

The first part of the book seems to argue that lean project managment should be applied globally across projects but the actual mechanisms that make this possible aren't made at all clear. The first chapter deals mainly with how lean extends the agile view and to get anything from it you need to know something about both. The second chapter argues the business case for agile and its mainly an account of how to convince people tht agile is a good idea. Chapter Three is about how agile fits into the bigger picture - it really doesn't have very much to say. Chapter Four is about lean portfolio management and this seems to present the whole agile idea again using different jargon.

The second part of the book starts with a chapter that makes the argument that Scrum isn't enough and needs to be augmented if it is to work at the enterprise level.The result is Scrum#, which adds lean methodology, or alternatively Kanban, which attempts to focus on adding small features rather than product iterations. Chapter Six deals with Iteration 0 and Chapter Seven  on relase planning. The following chapters deal with visual controls, Q&A, transitioning to agile, the managment role, co-ordination between mulitple teams and a very short look at design and architecture. Part Three consists of a single chapter musing on the philosophy of lean developemnt.

The biggest problem with this book is that it assumes a lot of background knowledge of agile and Scrum in particular. It also tends to jump all over the place, presenting ideas in an order that might have a logic but one that isn't made very clear.

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JavaScript: The Definitive Guide (6e)

Author: David Flanagan
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2011
Pages: 1100
ISBN: 978-0596805524
Aimed at: Experienced JavaScript programmers
Rating: 4.5
Pros: Comprehensive and authoritative
Cons: Unwieldy and not helpful to beginners
Reviewed by: Mike James

This is the classic work on JavaScript - indeed many readers c [ ... ]



Think Bayes

Author: Allen B Downey
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 210
ISBN: 978-1449370787
Audience: Python programmers
Rating: 2
Reviewer: Mike James

Learning about Bayesian stats while programming in Python seems like a good idea. What could possibly go wrong?


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