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The Agile Samurai: How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software Paperback – Oct 5 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (Oct. 5 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356581
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356586
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #172,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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""This book is very well written. Rasmusson uses an entertaining writing style that makes it pleasant to read from beginning to end. What I like the most is the author experience. The way he presents the topics dealing with role assignation (chapter 2) and reality in agile planning (chapter 8) is simply remarkable.""--Computing Reviews""The Agile Samurai is the book I wish I'd read before I started my last agile project. The chapters on agile project inception alone are worth the price of admission."" --Joshua Kerievsky, Founder and CEO, Industrial Logic, Inc. ""The Agile Samurai is exactly the book you and your team need to understand and deliver using the agile method. It makes the concepts tactile for everyone from the highest level of leadership to the people pushing forward on the front lines."""" --Jessica Watson, Business Analyst, Shaw Communications

About the Author

As an experienced entrepreneur and former agile coach for ThoughtWorks, Jonathan Rasmusson has consulted internationally, helping others find better ways to work and play together. When not coaching his sons' hockey teams or cycling to work in the throes of a Canadian winter, Jonathan can be found sharing his experiences with agile delivery methods at his blog, http://agilewarrior.wordpress.com.

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Format: Paperback
As I read "The Agile Samurai", I was amazed with Jonathan's simple way of expressing some of the most difficult issues we face in agile projects. He introduces us to the Inception Deck -a great place to start if you are thinking about transitioning to agile, or if you are having problems and think expectations need to be reset. One of the most powerful ideas he talks about which I see consistently lacking in many teams, is the idea of `Meet your neighbours'. Who do we need to talk to? Teams forget there is more than just the Product Owner or single customer that we have to please or may have information that can help us deliver the right product.

Jonathan uses examples to back up each principle he introduces. The conversations between the Master Sensei and the aspiring student at the end of each chapter are better than any thought provoking questions I have seen in some books. They make you stop and think; one of my favourite conversations is the "The Incomplete Story". What do you do when you don't finish a story within an iteration - something I see in many new agile teams.

After reading the book, I have adopted Jonathan's ideas of sliders to show the trade-offs between quality, scope, budget, and time. These forces are in conflict, yet consistently clients want `all'. The sliders give us a great way to demonstrate the trade-offs between these forces - it is such a simple idea, yet so powerful.

One of the things I really appreciated was the acknowledgment of more than one "right" way to do things. He echoes my feelings - If we adhere to basic agile principles and understand them, we are ahead of the game and dramatically increase our chance of success. Agile is not a silver bullet, but takes work to achieve success.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an absolute goldmine! It's allowed me to hit the ground running in a new position managing a complex Agile project. Every major concept in the Agile Methodology is covered and Jonathan manages to make reading about these topics fun and enlightening. Sprinkled into the mix are some of Jonathan's own personal experiences and the candor in which they are delivered make you feel a connection with him through the material.

Thank You Master Sensei for your most honorable contribution.
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Format: Paperback
If you want to try agile or just want a bunch of good tips on how to make your agile life easier or just refresh what agile is then this is a very good book to read. It covers almost all areas of software development and how they can benefit from using agile. It contains a bunch of tips and tricks from real-life experience. Ideas from this book can be used to make a presentation for your managers to explain why you should try agile (lots of good examples from everyday life). It's quite fun to read and it's not too long.

I also keep it close at hand to refresh different parts from time to time.

Words of caution:

Obviously process is a "necessary but not sufficient" condition for project's success. So switching to agile might or might not make you project successful (agile is not a silver bullet after all). Good next read might be "The Effective Executive" by Peter F. Drucker (followed by many others).

Everything which follows isn't an excuse not to do testing!!!!!! All new processes stress that we cannot compromise on Quality which implies that quality is either present or not. I do think that it's quite wrong. You have to be really careful here, as you don't need space shuttle quality in your chair, do you? {Well in case you do please make sure you have lots of $$$ to pay for it}. When you write tests or use any other means of ensuring that your software works, make sure that it brings real value (I did see projects with lots of tests and lots of bugs). Be agile about it. In the same way that clients don't care about functional specs, they also don't care about number of unit/functional tests (that's right, I said it).
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