Jun 05 2016

Book Review: Practices of an Agile Developer

I’ve just finished reading “Practices of an Agile Developer” by Venkat Subramaniam and Andy Hunt. My overall impression of the book is good. I don’t believe I was the target audience the authors had in mind but it would certainly serve well as part of an “Introduction to Agile” reading list.

The layout of the book is very much in the vein of “dip in, dip out” but reads well enough cover to cover. Overarching sections cover the major steps of adoption: Starting up, actually doing it, keeping it going, and dealing with feed back (my words not the authors). Each subsection delivers one piece of advice and the advice is largely solid with many of them remaining good advice outside of an agile method.

There is one thing the authors have included that I think makes it stand out from other introductory books on the subject. At the end of each section the authors discuss what the practice feels like when it is going well, and also signs to look out for where the practitioner is applying the practice too heavily or perhaps too lightly. These I think will help guide anyone new to the specific piece of advice in a much more helpful way than just being told “Here is a good thing, get on with it.”

For a new comer this is worth reading, for an experience practitioner less so. However reading from the point of view of helping the new comer may result in more value. As with all books, what you get out of them has as much to do with the reader as the author.