Reading Your Way To Agile
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Article Index
Reading Your Way To Agile
Scrum Books
Lean Books

In almost a decade I Programmer's book reviewers have read and commented on over 1500 programming titles, only a fraction of the programming books published, but we try to cover the important ones. In Programmer's Bookshelf we recommend the books you might find helpful at different stages in your personal development. This addition is on Agile Progamming.


The choice of books on programming methodologies is wide-reaching, with options no matter what methodology you're interested in. Many of the books are good or excellent, and written by real experts in those techniques. We've organised the choices into those titles that mainly concentrate on general Agile methods, those for Scrum, and those that look at Lean development.



If you want to read more of the original review click in the link in each title. Clicking on the book jacket in the side panel will take you to Amazon. If you just want to find out more about the book click in the top portion of the thumbnail to open the book's product details page. If you do decide to make a book purchase accessing Amazon from a link on I Programmer means that we are credited with a few cents - so thanks to all of you who support us in this way.

Agile Analytics

Author: Ken W. Collier
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-0321504814

Rating this book at the top 5 stars, Sue Gee says that  the book adapts and applies the principles of the Agile Manifesto to building data warehouses and is intended both for DW/BI practitioners who want to learn more about Agile techniques and for Agile PR actioners who want to know how to apply Agile practices to DW/BI systems.

Sue says that by the end of the book she came away with the impression that the author wasn’t trying to minimize the problems is adopting Agile methodology - and this made his advice all the more convincing. This is a book that every data warehouse builder should read, whether or not they are already attracted by the ideas of Agile methodology.


Essential Skills for the Agile Developer

Author: Alan Shalloway, Scott L. Bain, Amir Kolsky & Ken Pugh
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Pages: 272
ISBN: 978-0321543738

This book is part of a series of titles written by Net Objectives trainers and consultants, with this title aimed at teams that have just started to do lean, kanban, scrum or agile. The authors describe the title as being a "stop gap measure" in that it is a means to an end that offers a minimal set of skills  that developers need to help them on their way towards becoming adept at incremental development.



Despite this rather lukewarm description, Andrew Johnson was impressed enough to award the book five stars when he reviewed it. The book opens with a section on the the insights and activities that give the most understanding of agile methodologies with the least investment. The authors then go on to look at the general attitudes necessary for successful agile development, before considering design issues of agile projects.

Andrew says that if you are relatively new to agile methodologies this book will fill its intended role of providing a set of fundamental principles. It has a readable style and uses diagrams and code to good effect. It is worth reading in its entirety - the appendixes as well as the prelims. And at the end of it you will probably want to carry on reading other titles in the series.


Agile Project Management with Kanban

Author: Eric Brechner
Publisher: Microsoft Press
ISBN: 97807356989536

This book impressed Andrew Johnson enough for him to award it five stars. One reason is the experience that shines through from the author. Eric Brechner is the development manager for Xbox, with prior experience at Boeing, Silicon Graphics, Graftek and Jet Propulsion Labs, and a long term interest in software development practices that increase productivity.


Having used methodologies including Waterfall milestones, Team Software Process, Scrum, pair programming and test-driven development  among other techniques, the fact he sees Kanban as offering "a little nirvana" is significant., and in this book he provides pragmatic and prescriptive step-by-step instructions to success with Kanban.

Andrew says that Brechner has a highly accessible style, and the book's readability is aided by layout devices such as the boxouts and a checklist at the end of each chapter. If you want a quick route into Kanban this comes highly recommended.

Being Agile: Eleven Breakthrough Techniques to Keep You from "Waterfalling Backward"

Author: Leslie Ekas and Scott Will
Publisher: IBM Press
ISBN: 978-0133375626

The idea conveyed in the subtitle of this book is there has to be a series of habit-breaking breakthroughs, ah-ha moments, in which you really grasp what makes agile different and can gain substantial value from it, says Andrew Johnson in his review of this title from Agile pioneers IBM.


Rating the book at 4.5 stars, Andrew says each chapter of the book looks at a different topic that is crucial to adopting agile, and the concepts, principles and practices that are necessary for making a transformation in an agile way.  Each chapter has its own 'breakthrough' in the form of a prescription, usually illustrated by an example from the authors' experience of the teams they have worked with.

Andrew's conclusions is that this is a very readable book and if your team is struggling with the transition to agile and the budget rules out engaging an agile coach getting everyone involved, including your customers, to read it could be a very helpful move.


Being Agile: Your Roadmap to Successful Adoption of Agile

Author: Mario Moreira
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 255
ISBN: 978-1430258391
Audience: All those who have contemplated or tried transition to agile
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Andrew Johnson

The book is intended not only to help readers adopt the practices and methodologies of Agile but to go from “doing Agile” to “being Agile” which Mario Moreira says “requires buy-in across the enterprise.” Andrew Johnson gave it 4.5 stars.

The book is aimed at a wide audience, ranging from executives and senior management through Agile coaches and consultants, Scum Masters, to developers and testers. As such, the author points out that not all chapters will be relevant to all readers. One refreshing aspect of the book, according to Andrew, is that the author does point out that there are pitfalls as well as plaudits in following the proposed road map to agile.




Andrew said that by the end of the book he felt that all the target audiences would gain from reading this book, and he found it moderated his enthusiasm for Agile, particularly as the case histories reveal there is a lot that can go wrong. On the other hand if you take on board its central premise, that Agile is a mindset and requires a fundamental and all-embracing culture change, you will be in a better position to succeed with it. 


A Practical Approach to Large-Scale Agile Development

Author: Gary Gruver, Mike Young & Pat Fulghum
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Pages: 208
ISBN: 978-0321821720

The key to this book, according to reviewer Andrew Johnson, is its subtitle, "How HP Transformed LaserJet Future Smart Firmware". But if that makes it sound far too specialized, don't be put off - this book has useful tips about how Agile techniques can work.

As the Foreword to this book points out, this is a success story that changed an organization's culture, reduced development costs by 40% and reduced cycle costs from 2 months to 1 day.

Awarding the book four stars, Andrew concludes that the book is useful as an introduction to agile for those who don't know much about it, particularly those working on large-scale projects. If you are about to embrace agile without any prior experience, it probably isn't the only book you should read. There are, however, pointers to the books the authors wish they had read to use as a basis for further reading.


Pearson Education (InformIT)


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<ASIN:0321543734 >


<ASIN: 0735698953>

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<ASIN:0133375625 >

<ASIN: B00FWSK820>

<ASIN: 143025839X>


<ASIN: 0321821726>



Last Updated ( Friday, 16 November 2018 )