Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Art of Agile Development - automation

[This was originally posted at]

James Shore, a huge agile leader, is writing a book The Art of Agile Development. He's previewing chapters to get user feedback. His chapter Reply On People encourages developers to play to their strengths. He had a good point on automation, to paraphrase:

Most people don't like repeating tedious tasks, but many devs would find it a creative challenge to automate that same task. It's a good way to show how automation is a win from so many angles - more interesting for the developer, more effective in the long run.

 He's obviously got a lot more gems in that book; I look forward to it getting published.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Good book: The Pragmatic Programmers

[This was originally posted at]

I recently finished a good book, The Pragmatic Programmer, by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas. (I had read their Unit Testing book a while back).

What I liked to much about it was that:

  • It really was practical
  • Andy and Dave are good writers, with a down-to-earth style
  • It transcended the current technology (much like Code Complete)
  • It addressed a huge range of topics, from automation to testing to team culture. Software engineering isn't just about a lone-wolf developer typing the write code. Rather, it requires a huge breadth of skills and process.
  • It boiled things down to specific tips.
  • It pretty much takes a bunch of lessons that I learned the hard way and presents them.
  • It's short - maybe 250 pages (not including appendix, references, etc...)

I wish I had read this five years ago.