Practices of an Agile Developer: Working in the Real World


Want to be a better developer? This books collects the personal habits, ideas, and approaches of successful agile software developers and presents them in a series of short, easy-to-digest tips. This isn't academic fluff; follow these ideas and you'll show yourself, your teammates, and your managers real results. These are the proven and ...

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Want to be a better developer? This books collects the personal habits, ideas, and approaches of successful agile software developers and presents them in a series of short, easy-to-digest tips. This isn't academic fluff; follow these ideas and you'll show yourself, your teammates, and your managers real results. These are the proven and effective agile practices that will make you a better developer.

This book will help you improve five areas of your career:

  • The Development Process
  • What to Do While Coding
  • Developer Attitudes
  • Project and Team Management
  • Iterative and Incremental Learning

These practices provide guidelines that will help you succeed in delivering and meeting your user's expectations, even if the domain is unfamiliar. You'll be able to keep normal project pressure from turning into disastrous stress while writing code, and see how to effectively coordinate mentors, team leads, and developers in harmony.

You can learn all this stuff the hard way, but this book can save you time and pain. Read it, and you'll be a better developer.

Want to be a better developer? This book collects the personal habits, ideas, and approaches of successful agile software developers and presents them in a series of short, easy-to-digest tips.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I was familiar with some of the practices mentioned since I own other books from The Pragmatic Bookshelf, but this book brings a lot of those ideas together and presents them in an clear, concise, organized, format. I would highly recommend this book to a new developer or to a development team that wanted to get 'agile,'."

—Scott Splavec, Senior Software Engineer

"This book helps you understand what you are missing, or what you can do better. Practices of an Agile Developer makes it easy to become agile, or get even better at it."

—Steffen Gemkow, Managing Director, ObjectFab GmbH

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780974514086
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Series: Pragmatic Programmers Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 981,801
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Venkat Subramaniam, founder of Agile Developer, Inc., has trained and mentored thousands of software developers in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Venkat helps his clients effectively apply and succeed with agile practices on their software projects. He is a frequently invited speaker at international software conferences and user groups.

He's author of ".NET Gotchas" (O'Reilly), coauthor of the 2007 Jolt Productivity award-winning book "Practices of an Agile Developer" (Pragmatic Bookshelf), and author of "Programming Groovy" (Pragmatic Bookshelf).

Andy Hunt is a programmer turned consultant, author and publisher. He co-authored the best-selling book "The Pragmatic Programmer", was one of the 17 founders of the Agile Alliance, and co-founded the Pragmatic Bookshelf, publishing award-winning and critically acclaimed books for software developers.

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Table of Contents

1 Agile Software Development 1
2 Beginning Agility 11
1 Work for Outcome 13
2 Quick Fixes Become Quicksand 16
3 Criticize Ideas, Not People 19
4 Damn the Torpedoes, Go Ahead 24
3 Feeding Agility 27
5 Keep Up with Change 29
6 Invest in Your Team 32
7 Know When to Unlearn 35
8 Question Until You Understand 38
9 Feel the Rhythm 41
4 Delivering What Users Want 45
10 Let Customers Make Decisions 47
11 Let Design Guide, Not Dictate 50
12 Justify Technology Use 54
13 Keep It Releasable 57
14 Integrate Early, Integrate Often 60
15 Automate Deployment Early 63
16 Get Frequent Feedback Using Demos 66
17 Use Short Iterations, Release in Increments 71
18 Fixed Prices Are Broken Promises 75
5 Agile Feedback 79
19 Put Angels on Your Shoulders 81
20 Use It Before You Build It 85
21 Different Makes a Difference 90
22 Automate Acceptance Testing 93
23 Measure Real Progress 96
24 Listen to Users 99
6 Agile Coding 101
25 Program Intently and Expressively 103
26 Communicate in Code 108
27 Actively Evaluate Trade-Offs 113
28 Code in Increments 116
29 Keep It Simple 118
30 Write Cohesive Code 120
31 Tell, Don't Ask 124
32 Substitute by Contract 127
7 Agile Debugging 131
33 Keep a Solutions Log 132
34 Warnings Are Really Errors 135
35 Attack Problems in Isolation 139
36 Report All Exceptions 142
37 Provide Useful Error Messages 144
8 Agile Collaboration 149
38 Schedule Regular Face Time 151
39 Architects Must Write Code 155
40 Practice Collective Ownership 158
41 Be a Mentor 160
42 Allow People to Figure It Out 163
43 Share Code Only When Ready 165
44 Review Code 168
45 Keep Others Informed 171
9 Epilogue: Moving to Agility 173
9.1 Just One New Practice 173
9.2 Rescuing a Failing Project 174
9.3 Introducing Agility: The Manager's Guide 175
9.4 Introducing Agility: The Programmer's Guide 177
9.5 The End? 178
A Resources 179
A.1 On the Web 179
A.2 Bibliography 182
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2006

    Excellent book about real world practices

    Venkat and Andy has done an excellet Job putting this book together, i am only at chapter 5 right now but so far from what i have read they have dicussed about every situation i have experienced as a developer in my career. I recomend this book to anyone who is fighting with the angel and devil in their head about making decisions on a agile development environment. A+++++++++++

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2006

    Excellent discussion of using agile in the real-world

    In my own work, I am struggling with various agile vs. non-agile practices, but sometimes it can be hard to see why a non-agile practice is worse in the long run than an agile practice. This books goes a long ways toward identifying the problems with non-agile practices by identifying an agile practice, then showing the benefits of following it as well as the result if it isn¿t followed. Throughout the book, a little angel and a demon show up¿the angel illustrating a ¿good¿ practice, and the demon illustrating a ¿bad¿ practice. This makes the book a fun read and I think really helps in illustrating the authors¿ points. The book includes 45 different points that an agile developer should follow. For example, ¿Criticize Ideas, Not People¿ and ¿Keep it Releasable¿. Each section begins with one of these points, followed by a little demon telling you why you shouldn¿t follow the agile principle. More often than not, you¿ll find that the demon¿s arguments are things you might have heard from your co-workers, managers, or someone else in your work environment. After the authors¿ explain why the particular agile principle is important, the little angel sums up why the principle is important. Again, it sounds silly, but it¿s an effective teaching mechanism. It¿s also a lot of fun when the demon¿s arguments are ones you¿ve heard before. In reading the book, I had the sense that the authors were really trying to be unbiased in their discussion of agile. They present some very convincing case studies of how some projects when terribly wrong, and how it could have been prevented with some very simple agile practices. With some books on agile, you have the sense that the authors have never written a line of code in their life. This book was a good reality-check for me. The authors sound like they know what they¿re talking about, and they talk about real-life problems that all of us experience in our coding. I would highly recommend this book to developers looking to become more agile, but needing something that¿s actually applicable to the real world.

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