Integrating Agile Development in the Real World

Not for the casual reader…
A review by Theo Moore, GC.NUG

Integrating Agile Development in the Real World
Charles River Media

Integrating Agile Development in the Real World is a basically a manual on implementing Agile development in a real-world environment. The book is well written and clear. However, this book is not for the casual reader or developer. The “Who should read this book” section in the front says it best; it indicates that this book was written for someone who already has a strong understanding of Agile development (you can check the section out for specifics) and is wanting to attempt to implement it in their own development. Since Agile development is fairly flexible and can be applied to variety of disciplines, it also assumes you are familiar with one (for example, XP) and will be reading it with this in mind. If you aren’t very familiar with these, this book is definitely not for you. If you are, then you could learn a lot from it.

If you have some familiarity with one or more disciplines, however, this book could be used as a guide to adding Agile development to a development department’s “toolbox”. It is written from a wide-scale, departmental point of view and not intended for the solitary developer.

I found some of the text to be a little too high-level and abstract to visualize. I normally feel very comfortable with the theoretical, but this book seemed almost a little too general. Again, this might be exactly what some others would want. A counter-argument could be made that should the book become too granular, it might become more of a “how to” book rather than a “why to” book. While it won’t provide you the answer to your questions, it will provide the reader with the tools necessary to figure out for sure what questions your organization should ask.

I also really liked how the book was divided. It provides very distinct sections, acknowledging that not all development tasks are the same. For example, there is a separate section for testing software (a subject near and….dear to my heart as a QA Engineer). This focus on testing is very much in tune with XP and test-driven development.

So, overall, this is a good book. It’s just not for the average programmer.

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