24 October, 2006

Book Review: Practices of an Agile Developer

Practices of an Agile Developer is a book written by Andy Hunt and Venkat Subramaniam published on The Pragmatic Programmer. What first turned me on to the book was the fact that it was published by The Pragmatic Programmers and that Andy Hunt was one of the authors. Andy Hunt was of course one of the authors behind The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master which I really liked.

This book has some similarities in the way that it lists practices that fit well in a pragmatic programmer toolbox. But it has a some what different approach. The book is divided into 8 sections, like ”Beginning Agility”, ”Agile Feedback”, ”Agile Coding”.

Each section presents a number of practices on that topic. Each practice starts with a catchy name, then the little devil sitting on your shoulder giving you his opinion. Could be something like ”All right, so your unit test verify your code does what you think it should. Ship it. We’ll find out if it’s what the customers want soon enough.”. Then the author elaborate on the subject what is the pragmatic approach and why, the sometimes fill in with examples from projects they’ve been on. After that the little angel on your other shoulder gets it say, like ”… Have your customer verify these tests in isolation …”. Then they describe the feeling you get when you’re on top of this practice and finally a bullet list with tips for keeping in balance with the practice.

So, is it a good book? Yeah, I think it’s definitely worth the time! The book is only about 200 pages which I like, easy enough to bring on the commute to work.