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The Nature of Software Development

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  412 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Published by Pragmatic Programmers (first published January 25th 2015)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  412 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Yevgeniy Brikman
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Here's a summary of this book: build software in small increments, ship something that works every 1-2 weeks, and always prioritize the most important and valuable increments first. There, you're done. I just saved you from reading 150 pages that don't say much beyond that one sentence.

There is other content in the book, and it does cover many of the basic aspects of agile, but it's presented in a way that, quite frankly, is not useful. All the concepts are simplified down to the point where th
Sandro Mancuso
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was torn between 4 and 5 stars. If you have worked and is very familiar with Agile software development, mainly using Scrum and XP, you probably will not learn much from this book. However, this is a very good book that should be read by any developer, manager, CTO, IT director out there. In very simple words and with a lot of pragmatism, Ron explains Agile software development thorough values instead of prescriptions, barely mentioning any Agile formal methodology. The last chapters, mainly o ...more
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Show us your software!" - I really likes this book. It is a treasure chest of true statements and arguments from someone who really knows. Go and read it! And as "Uncle Bob" Martin writes in the foreword of "The Nature of Software Development": "This book should be "The CTO's Guide to Professional Software Developmet." I agree.
I especially enjoyed the second part of the book which contains of notes and essays.
Sergey Teplyakov
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: programming
Very controversal book. On one hand every essey, every chapter is good. Author is experienced Agile adept who spent a lots of time as a coach or agile mentor. But on the other hand most of the advices sounds like a platitude: they're reasonable but you can't follow them because there is now clear steps how to change existing situation in your current project. ...more
Eduardo Ferro
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I recently finished this book and it has become one of my favorite technical books.

If you already feel comfortable developing software in iterations and with high quality, this book might not change radically your way of think, but sure that it can clarify many things and allows you to understand the forces and principles behind software development.

If you still feel lost in this profession, I think that this book can help you to take a giant leap forward in your career.

Even the subtitle is pur
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is a quick, easy, and interesting read.

Unlike books on software engineering, it is not a book about processes to build software. It is definitely not about programming. It is not about best practices. Instead, the book advocates a principle to build software. While the principle in hindsight will seem obvious, we often fail to stick with it. The principle is always being value-driven: the value delivered to the users by the software (when delivered on time) should guide the development
May 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
You don't need this book.

"If our design is allowed to deteriorate, progress will slow. Features will cost more than they should. Unless we keep the design fresh, we’ll just get slower and slower."


It goes on like that throughout.

It's a huge simplification (as intended), which is why I say you don't need this book. Maybe it's one to give to your boss?
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reads quickly and like an informal essay. Provides an overview of an ideal way that software projects should run for those who are unfamiliar with running software projects. Very high level, but it's intended to help show the forest for the trees. ...more
Julio Monteiro
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the approach Jeffries took in this book. It consists in small and clear chapters, with illustrations, to clarify Jeffries' take on a better way to develop software. Essentially, it's a reflection from someone with half a century of experience. It is written on purpose in a simple and clear way. It might be a quick read, but please give it time to reflect and let the ideas sink in. I recommend everyone involved with software to read at least the 1st part. ...more
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: agile
This would be an excellent book 15 years ago. It is a very good and easy-to-read explanation of iterative software development, which I would recommend to my nephew (13 years) who is interested in software development.

This is *not* a book for "every CTO, every VP of engineering, every director of software, and every software team leader". If some CTO can find any new information or inspiration in this book, than it is probably the most incompetent CTO in the world.
Peter Hundermark
The One Book

If you read only one book on "Agile" it should be this one!

Moreover if you're NOT a software developer, yet depend on software development you REALLY should read this book. That is CxOs, managers, business people, project managers, ...

Ron is perhaps the best person currently living on our planet at explaining this topic in simple terms without losing any of the important truths.
Tim Potter
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A concise restatement and discussion of the Agile Manifesto ( by one of the original authors. If you have done any software development using the Scrum methodology, this book will be an eye-opener as often the underlying principles of Agile are lost in the extra process and ceremony of Scrum. ...more
Nov 12, 2016 rated it liked it
This book contains good advice for software developer and especially people working with them.
The author tries to explain in a simple and concise way how to build and grow a software product.
I think this book is a good introduction to methodologies like XP and Agile. It shows them as a way to build good software and not as a religion (a common misconception these days).
Ahmed Chicktay
Mar 27, 2015 rated it liked it
If you are familiar with iterative, feature driven, agile, xp or scrum development, there is nothing new in this book.
Graeme Mathieson
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A quick read. Nothing spectacularly new or exciting, but a good summary of what it means to be Agile.
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a "simple" read, in the sense that it's focused on simplicity. Yet as anyone who creates, produces, or edits anything, simplicity does not mean 'easy.' Uncovering something meaningful, yet simple, is hard. "Agile is simple," he writes, "it just isn't easy."

This is not a book of proscriptions, or methods, or ceremonies. It is a book that asks software development teams to think about how value can drive feature development, skills development, and satisfaction and happiness in projects,
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Short, simple and gets the point across.

If you are familiar with agile methodologies this book will be basically a confirmation of what you may already know. A very high-level overview of the software development process, and a correct one in my opinion. I only wish it was a little bit longer and more detailed.

The key points of this book are very good: "Show us the software", "be ready to ship at all times", "let developers manage their work", "no long term detailed planning". These are some ex
Brandon Mosco
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For those in Software Development or the teams who run them

I am not a software developer, but I work with a team of developer sin my company. This was required reading. I was a little skeptical as to why I needed to read this. Although, after reading, it provided insight as to what these teams really go through day in and day out, with iteration of code and what’s next on their to do list. I like my fiction, but for being a story on development, this was really good.

There wasn’t any technical g
Ramiro Olivencia
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book about what we should expect in the journey of being a software developer and working on software projects, bundeld with great illustrations to get a better grasp of the concepts and materialize them.

This is a book targeted both at novel and veteran software professionals, as a recall to not forget to put the focus on what's important when we're developing software after all: delivering value and quality products to our customers.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Yet another agile book that describes the top of the mountain but leaves out how to climb it. I was hoping Jeffries, after his many years of experience would talk more about how to transition to a true agile way of working rather than just describing it. Not much separates this agile book from the pack other than it is short.
Marta Manso
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I can not recommend this book enough. I am being literal, it is the book I have recommended more times in my life. As small and easy to read as a children’s story, but with a pearl of overwhelming wisdom in every page.

A must-read for every role involved in software development (developers, managers, tech leads, product leaders…)
Vladimir Tarasov
As to me this book can compliment 'Agile Retrospectives' by Esther Derby very well. While the latter one will teach you how to set up an environment for learning, this one will help with questions to discuss. ...more
Mauro Botelho
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ron as always offers good advice on software development in general. In this book he is not prescriptive, he goes into a more philosophical journey about good things in Agile and how good software development works.
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Concise and to the point book.
Nothing fancy and no fancy agile frameworks - just what it means and takes to work in an agile manner and what that can bring to your product. Fourth star for the "scaled agile" part :)
Daniel Wellner
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truely nice little book that explains the nature of -good- software development in a very concise yet simple, non-technical manner. I warmly recommend this book especially to people working within product or management functions.
Sholabomi Sadoh
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had to read this for work; for someone who knows nothing about Software Development, this book is perfect for a base understanding. It magnifies the importance of Agile projects and methods.
Hyun Chang Lee
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read

He explained the essences and big pictures of software development. I will read this book several times to remember every word and wisdom.
Wilson Jimenez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gentle introduction to organization of software development.
Dimitrios Mistriotis
Small gem (as most Pragmatic books).
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