We are going Agile!

Over the last few months, it dawned on us that if we were writing software apis/ frameworks (Jasper, Astoria) specifically designed for Agile development that perhaps we should really understand Agile development by actually doing it. Breath taking insight, I know…

So here is the problem. I need to learn about Agile development quickly and efficiently. (I need to be agile about learning about Agile development). I have started reading Robert Martin’s book, but am also interested in any pointers, feedback, or opinions folks might have. My first task is to figure out which flavor of Agile development we are going to do.

Comments (5)
  1. My first task is to figure out which flavor of Agile development we are going to do

    We started applying xp practices in the team, then gradually in the organisation. After 1 year we also started using the more project management oriented practices in scrum.

    Go get the white xp book by Kent Beck first, follow up with the green and purple ones.


    Kennie Nybo Pontoppidan,

    Head of It Development, IT University of Copenhagen

  2. Kevin Mac says:

    Crystal Clear (alistair cockburn) and SCRUM (Ken Schwaber ) are excellent starting points but beyond that measure everything against the agile manifesto if doesn’t fit it is not agile.  

    I enjoyed the top ten list by cockburn that talks about what is not agile( http://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/qna/0,289202,sid92_gci1255480,00.html ). Once you get Agile it is very exciting and hard to believe that you ever did development any other way.

  3. David says:

    Martin’s book is a great book but its mostly about design principles and patterns. I’m also inclined to think that his view of agile is not quite the same as many others in this space.

    Read the book that started it all off "Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change" by Kent Beck. You could do worse and read his follow up "Test Driven Design"

  4. Matt says:
    • 1 to Cockburn book- certainly the best implementation-neutral discussion of the agile philosophy I’ve read.

    Scrum talks a lot about the project management side of development. For balance, probably worth reading something like Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck.

    In practise, most agile projects use a mish-mash of techniques appropriate to their particular circumstances rather than slavishly following any defined process. I pick XP explained because XP has a very rich set of practises to choose from.

  5. todd Ariss says:

    Some agile concepts, shared code ownership, the planning game, and many others often let the individual contributer/developer take part in the whole life cycle of the project, into the project including project management and QA. I think it’s really a good idea for all team members to understand agile estimating and planning so I’m throwing my hat in the ring with "Agile Estimating and Planning" by Mike Cohn. It’s top notch.

    Only other advice is to really give pair programming a try (ie. an open mind) and to be diligent about the standup meeting and retrospectives. Sometimes these things seem little but make the biggest difference in the success of an agile team.


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