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The Art of Agile Development

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  805 ratings  ·  49 reviews
The Art of Agile Development contains practical guidance for anyone considering or applying agile development for building valuable software. Plenty of books describe what agile development is or why it helps software projects succeed, but very few combine information for developers, managers, testers, and customers into a single package that they can apply directly.

Paperback, 440 pages
Published November 2nd 2007 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2007)
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Peter Sichevsky
Only took me THREE attempts over five years to get through it, but I feel like I actually picked up a few things.
Rod Hilton
Oct 15, 2008 rated it liked it
"The Art of Agile Development" by James Shore and Shane Warden is a book that is primarily focused on explaining Agile to people who want to adopt Agile software development practices for their team. The bulk of book is divided into sections based on a categorization on agile practices. There is a chapter on practices that help with thinking, one for collaborating, one for releasing, one for planning, and one for developing. In each of these chapters, there is a section devoted to a specific pra ...more
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technical, business, 2012
short version: A bit dogmatic, but these dudes have done their homework, and if you can tolerate the preachy "seriously, you need to do exactly what I'm describing" tone of it all, there are lots of valuable gems buried within. The bad news: you're going to need support from management to make all this work, and even with that support, it could be hairy in a big organization and/or with a lot of legacy code behind you.

Also... ALSO: Kanban gets mentioned in here several, albeit not by name--and
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I strongly recommend this book if you work in a Agile shop or you are considering moving toward Agile and/or XP. I am a strong advocate of Agile Software Development. The use of pair programming and test driven development have elevated my productivity significantly.

There are some limitations to this book. It is not written in the most inviting manner. Compared to other books, such as the Lean Startup, it is a bit thick to get through some sections. Compared to the Gang of Four Design Patterns i
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tech, business, software
Admittedly, this is my first complete book that had anything to do with extreme programming. I'm very familiar with Scrum, but am relatively new to pair programming, TDD and the like. However, where I am in my professional career, this was of the utmost importance. If you are in an organization that is moving to Agile practices, this book is not only helpful, but necessary.
May 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Just the best book on agile software development methodogy and practices...
Tareq Alkhatib
Aug 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Good content. Horrible writing style.
Alex French
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Probably my overall favorite thoughtful summary of Agile concepts.

I had stayed away from reading it for a long time because it is XP focused, and XP’s focus on technical practices seems difficult to translate to things that aren’t 100% custom written, mostly greenfield software.

But it does a great job being thoughtful explaining what practices are trying to achieve, why they work, how they work together, and how you should be thoughtful in applying them.

It is not huge or dense, but it is not sho
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is about the XP (Extreme Programming) methodology. But it's useful for anybody working in an agile environment, or looking for applying agile practices. Practices like pair programming, retrospectives, iteration plannings, agile team composition, energized work, informative workspaces etc are described in great detail. It feels like a nice blend between philosophical questions and daily practice.
Scott Holstad
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: technology
I went through this book years ago when I started getting into agile dev and I have to admit I wasn't initially thrilled with it. It wasn't as intuitive to me as some other approaches, but I kept slogging away and eventually got to know a little of what I was doing. There are books published since that are probably better, but at the time, there wasn't a huge selection.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: agile-consulting
To be honest I didn't read it all, but the chapters that I've read worth the investment of time. I would recommend this book to people that are starting with agile methodologies and in this case XP.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly relevant for an old book!
Apr 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: development
As its name indicates, The Art of Agile Development describes in much detail just that. It does so by covering one species of the Agile genus, Extreme Programming (XP). According to the authors, a key component of the agile method is to work in small steps; the software architecture should be manifest in incremental stages, each one responsive to a direct need. Perhaps in line with this approach, the book's chapters consist of a very short intro delimiting a topic followed by many short (1-5 pag ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A newbie to the agile methodology introduced me to my very first book – The Art of Agile Development. Having had a few months of experience in the ‘agile’ environment, this book was a reading pleasure.

The book opens up to briefing about the agile methodology and lists out the inherent thinking behind this practice in the field of software development. Though the focus over the ‘Scrum’ type is almost nil, but the book doesn’t let you lose out on your grip even if you are a practitioner of the Scr
Nathan Glenn
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An usefully detailed discussion of the roles, processes, practices and principles of agile development. Most of the practices are taken from Extreme Programming, but some have been added. It's hard to explain how different this way of working is from traditional models. Shore explains the roles of programmers, testers, managers, product owners, investors and more. The book is filled with real-world experience, and you come away thinking, "I wish my company could do this!"
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computer
Lots of good ideas on Agile in general, however the book generally champions eXtreme Programming which occasionally obfuscates some of those good ideas.

There are a sections that are specifically devoted to get XP up and running -- these are basically waste if you aren't going to implement (or participate in) XP. Other sections that covers things like "10 minute build", "Energised Work", limiting yourself to tasks that can be accomplished in a few hours (and avoiding carrying over between days!),
Tariq Shraim
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Praise for The Art of Agile Development
“Jim Shore and Shane Warden expertly explain the practices and benefits of Extreme
Programming. They offer advice from their real-world experiences in leading teams.
They answer questions about the practices and show contraindications—ways that a
practice may be misapplied. They offer alternatives youcan try if there are impediments
to applying a practice, such as the lack of an on-site customer.
“The explanations do not stop with just the practices. Discussion
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to give a reference book 5 stars but I truly think that what Shore did with this book is special. It feels comprehensive without being overwhelming. It is based around practical ideas. It acknowledges its limitations. It is stern without being dogmatic. And it's written in a way that is accessible and easy to understand. I don't hold any illusions that I'll be able to turn my development team into a truly Agile/XP house but Shore has provided a script and steps that I can take to impro ...more
Christopher Litsinger
This book reminded me of the guy at the party who had a few too many drinks but really, really wants to tell you all about the new religion/philosophy/band that he has discovered and wants to tell you all about.
In great detail.
I made it about 1/2 way through, and it started repeating itself, so I abandoned it.
The book talks about a lot of stuff that makes sense, the idea of Agile development has some good points, but this book was just a little too sure of itself to be a good overview for a non-
Dec 13, 2008 rated it liked it
I like this book so far, reading it in very on off fashion. I got introduced to agile development a couple of years ago and have since worked with a company who used it to develop a software product for us. The book is quite academic and I feel at this early stage (about 1/3 read) that is another tome from which I will take elements and use in my work. Another methodology like prince -so steal the best bits!
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A must read for all novice practitioners who want to familiarize themselves with the concepts of agile development, or for those who are already consider themselves as experienced, to refine and enrich their knowledge. In fact, whether we want to handle XP, Scrum, DSDM or any other agile methodology, we should take a look at this book, because it provides a good theoretical foundation on which to base our development projects.
Torben Rasmussen
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazingly good book on agile and agile practices. The book describes XP, but should go on the reading list for anyone working with scrum or agile development in general. The book describes the agile practices and also manages to clearly describe the effect and feedback loops between different practices.
When you are ready to move beyond the 'simple' agile frame of scrum this is the book to guide you while adding specific agile practices to scrum.
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book describes the whole process of a development with many practical tips in every development´s phase.
I've learnt the concepts of root cause analysis and fail fast in this book and they are really important now in my daily work.

The only thing I don´t like about the book is that the book assumes developers are the constraint on the team.
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I bought this book years ago and read it. Now, years later, it still feels actual and not outdated at all.
I notice that from time to time I open it and read some parts in it and they still make me think "aha!" or "just what I thought too", "yep, noticing that". Still has it's practical value on the floor.
Feb 16, 2009 added it
Shelves: chris-home
More of an XP focus, this book contains the definition of 'slack' which will be an important principal for how we balance projects with necessary technical and productivity improvements.

Many managers in the team have a copy of this.
Ciprian Rusen
Sep 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Lots of good examples and tips.

Sometimes a bit hard to read for longer periods of time. The style in which is written can sometimes put you to sleep, even though the content is actually good and applicable in real-life.
Rick Austin
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Eye opener to the many practices and the results of those practices from the XP world. Well written with many practical examples of the application of these practices. Tremendous focus on the value of people in software development.
Derek Neighbors
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book to start with for anyone wanting to know more about Agile Software Development. James does a good job of showing multiple methodologies and frameworks. It is clear, James is a practitioner and speaks with authority.
Thomas Kuryura
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A must read for anyone that wants to learn and understand XP pratices, lots of tips from the author on how, to build or improve your process. A great guide for Scrum Masters that wants to improve in Agile.
Daniel Noventa
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent book. Opened my eyes on the methods we're already using. XP, or extreme programing seems interesting, since the overall work is supposed to be decreased. It does require a high level of mindfulness, so, extreme seems to mean with a sense of purpose. Recommend this book to any developer.
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