The Agile Samurai
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The Agile Samurai

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  363 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Faced with a software project of epic proportions? Tired of over-committing and under-delivering? Enter the dojo of the agile samurai, where agile expert Jonathan Rasmusson shows you how to kick-start, execute, and deliver your agile projects. Combining cutting-edge tools with classic agile practices, The Agile Samurai gives you everything you need to deliver something of...more
Paperback, 265 pages
Published October 2nd 2010 by Pragmatic Bookshelf (first published 2010)
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Cade
A good intro to Agile philosophy and techniques, but the specifics are pretty basic if you're already familiar with the material. The one thing I really liked about this book compared to other Agile books was how dogma-free it was. He doesn't get too attached to specific ideologies such as XP, Scrum, or Kanban. Instead, he adopts a much more pragmatic approach which continuously points to the general principles of the Agile Manifesto. In short, take the best of what's out there, tweak it to work...more
Anna
A very interesting read. I've been looking for ways to better manage my workload and get more out the door quickly; my mom's workplace has been agile from the start while my own follows a more traditional waterfall methodology.

This is by design; when your software mistakes might mean lives at risk or losses to a business in the hundreds of thousands, you tend to be cautious. It's also a product of a software company that's 30 years old- we have been building on our development methodology for a...more
Donatas Remeika
Easy to read and refreshing. Boosts motivation to become Agile.
Recommended for both novice Agile practitioners and their managers.
Chun Kit Lee
Aug 12, 2012 Chun Kit Lee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: People who want to know briefly what agile is about.
Shelves: computing, nlb
A gentle introduction to agile.

As I've read lots of other books, blogs etc on refactoring, unit testing, TDD and continuous integration prior to reading this book, and have tried some of the practices, I could skip the last few chapters on the technical development aspects without missing anything. I read them all though, in order to gauge how much treatment each topic is given.

It's a book targeted across a wide range of audiences, from PMs to developers to testers so each topic is not covered i...more
Jason Stirk
Dec 17, 2011 Jason Stirk rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: people new to agile
TL;DR: It's a quick read, suitable for people new to agile. Otherwise, go buy Agile Estimating and Planning instead.

This is a very lightweight and quick to read book, despite its length; I read it in a few hours on a flight, and I'm not a very fast reader at all.

Some people will not enjoy the light hearted and humorous style of the book. I didn't mind it - the style and silly diagrams certainly made it easier to get through than something like Agile Estimating and Planning.

All in all though, it'...more
Ronald
I enjoyed this book and found that it had useful information. I am not Scrum certified and haven't picked up an XP book in years and enjoyed reading about the current state of the Agile world. The book feels authentic because the author lets you know throughout the book that the goal is to write great software that is useful to your customers and there is no one way to do that -- you have to be open to ideas and give them a whirl on your project. I'll have to revisit the chapter on estimation be...more
Melvin
This book is very straightforward and contains good advices to new and experienced agilists. It follows a pragmatic style and does a good job putting agile principles and practices into context using a dialog between a student and a samurai master.

A good tool I got from this book is the "Inception Deck": a powerful expectation-setting tool containing 10 essential questions that should be asked at the beginning of any software project. It improves a lacking area of most agile processes: charteri...more
Clarence Bakirtzidis
This book is a great read and a fairly concise intro to Agile. Forget the Encyclopedia Britannica-sized text books on Agile - you don't need them. Less is more, simple is better. This book uses entertaining language to explain what its really like being Agile in the real world and not in some academic or ideal environment. If you don't "get it" after reading this book then you probably won't ever get it. Start by applying basic practices and build a culture of trust, respect, continuous improvem...more
George Lee
The concepts in this book are useful for both project managers and software developers. What all of the techniques boil down to is making smaller adjustments instead of big ones. When working with customers, managers should get constant feedback to make sure they are on the right track and can manage requests as they come up. Managers should also be seeing how their developers are progressing through their stories to make sure they are maintaining their velocity. Developers should be using testi...more
Larry Wright
I've been leading an agile software team for a number of years, so roughly half of this book was review rather than new information. It would make a great introduction to the practices of agile to someone who was new to the concepts, however.

The first half of the book does contain some great ideas around the initiation of projects, and some useful tools for getting everyone on the same page(which has been an issue on a number of projects I've lead). There is also some great explanation of what...more
Youssef Ragab
A brief practical coverage of the basics of agile software project management and agile software engineering. It is not written as an academic reference it just tells you how to get the job done in simple words; not surprising of a book in a series called pragmatic! There are three parts the first is about kickstarting an agile project the second is about managing an agile project and third is about actual agile development. The book follows a mixture between the SCRUM and Extreme Programming fl...more
Nick Lo
If you're looking for a light introduction and overview of agile software development this is probably a good book for you. I think I'll have got some value from the earlier chapters but on the whole I felt it took a long time to describe things in too many different ways that often didn't really warrant the effort. For example, the "Master Sensei and the Aspiring Warrior" interludes didn't add much value and I started skipping them about 2/3 of the way through. I also ended up skimming through...more
Richard
Excellent book. Explains the facets of Agile extremely well without preaching or being repetitive. The style is somewhat similar to Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby with the diagrams, comics and sessions with Master Sensei. I found it to be a highly effective way of holding my attention throughout the book and reviewing what was discussed in each chapter. It contains some great summaries and reference material too.

I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to learn about Agile.
miguel
Buen libro, muy práctico.
Hay muy buenos tips y esta bien enfocado, tal vez es para personas que suelen iniciar muchos proyectos, pero no tanto para proyectos que ya están en desarrollo.
Kiryl Baranoshnik
I find the book OK, although the style seemed not to be matching the goal. It contains some nice project management techniques but the overall level is very basic. I may recommend this book to those new to Agile. It will be a rather fine introduction to the concepts and provide some basic knowledge.
Matt Block
This is a very well written introductory book to agile. It is easy to read and understand and gives good examples. I would definitely recommend it to anyone new to agile that wants an easy to read overview.
Derek
80-85% of this book is aimed at project managers that want to learn about 'Agile'.
That's cool. If that's what you are aiming for, then this book is one of the clearer ones on what you can do to move your team (and company) in that direction.

If you're a developer looking for information about coding practices/techniques, this isn't the book for you. Read Kent Beck's Test Driven Development and Extreme Programming if you're unfamiliar with unit testing, small iterations, continuous integration and...more
Naoto Koshikawa
アジャイル開発に関わるすべての人におすすめ出来る本です。

「アジャイル = 非ウォーターフォールなんだから
ウォーターフォールのめんどくささが無くなって楽チンなんでしょ?」
なんてノリじゃだめだよ、ということを教えてくれます。

正直、アジャイルは相当キツイと思います。しかしやりがいを感じさせてくれます。

例としてあげられているのが、受託開発におけるプロジェクトなので
一見、アジャイルサムライは、受託開発プロジェクトにアジャイル手法を
適用するための本なのかと思いがちです。

アジャイルな考え方は何も受託開発にのみ当てはまるわけではありません。

たとえば、インセプションデッキに含まれる
「われわれはなぜここにいるのか」という問いかけや「エレベーターピッチ」は
Simon SinekのThe golden circleという考え方にもある
Why -> How -> Whatの順にアイデアを考えようと一致すると思います。

自社サービスや新規ビジネスの立ち上げプロジェクトにおいては誰が「顧客」なのか。
それは、プロジェクトに関わるメンバーで最初に議論するべきことかも知れません。
Daniel
This book made me simultaneously dissatisfied and hopeful for my job. If we actually did this stuff, it would be great.

The individual practices that can be adopted by a single developer or developer team (unit testing, continuous integration, refactoring, test-driven development) are valuable in themselves, but the real gold here is the non-technical practices, revolving around how you manage your technical team's interactions with the business/customer.
Pisketti
An agile approach to Agile, pragmatic and well written. Delivers value in every chapter. The tone is not preaching and even the most difficult questions are not avoided. The method presented is a some sort of Scrum/XP hybrid.
I wouldn't have minded a bit broader focus on the technical conventions and methods supporting agile, though. This book is a good introduction to Agile way of delivering software. More experienced practitioners can benefit from it too.
Nick Zdunic
Excellent pragmatic primer
Fraser Kinnear
A very good friend recommended this to me - it's an interesting high level primer on Agile. Something that can be skimmed in a few hours if you are familiar with the subject matter, or read in a few nights.

This was a perfect introduction for me, as I'm new to agile (my work colleagues at work use it extensively). I got a few pages of notes out of it.
Neville Ridley-smith
A good introduction to agile practices. Doesn't go in depth but gives a clear overview of the whole shebang.

For anyone who's already doing some sort of agile, the concept of an agile inception deck is probably the most useful part of the book. It's something I haven't seen covered in other books I've read.
Andrew
This was a great introduction to Agile development practices, but it could have gone a little deeper. I had the feeling at some points that the author was just riding the trendy "agile wave". However, I did enjoy the book and would recommend it as an introduction to the agile methodology,
Elisa
Different and straightforward approach to delivering better software, especially the larger interactive projects. Helpful links and stories of previous projects to help set examples. Overall, it was refreshing to view different tactics and techniques for the development process.
Vít Kotačka
Not a bad introduction to agile. But if you are not a newbie to this, then go for something deeper.
Wes Baker
Great book for getting the gist of agile and convincing you to use better development processes. But overall your time would be better spent actually using an agile method and reading about good development processes from a book like The Pragmatic Programmer.
Attila Bujáki
Really great book. Easy to read and has a lot of practical references. Great to start you agile journey, or to get some help if you feel lost, or just could use some help to get the right direction.
Pavleras
This book covers the agile framework, tools, attitudes and behaviours in a understandable way. In my experience this book helps you back to basics. however, some agile techniques should be explained in more detail. Good experience
Elizabeth
I don't have anything to compare it to, but I think this is a really great intro to agile. We're making the switch where I work and I can already see improvements. This has a very "...For Dummies" feel to it and is a very quick read.
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