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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FileMaker 12 In Depth

Author: Jesse Feiler
Publisher: Que, 2012
Pages: 720
ISBN: 978-0789748461
Aimed at: FileMaker users who want to begin development
Rating: 3
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank

How useful will this book that claims deep coverage be to developers?



Service-Oriented Design with Ruby and Rails

Author: Paul Dix
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-0321659361
Aimed at: Experienced Ruby developers
Rating: 2
Pros: Plenty of code
Cons: Lacks explanations
Reviewed by: Alex Armstrong

This is all about building services in Ruby with an emphasis on Rails (versions 2 and 3). By service the book [ ... ]


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