Agile Exposed

Barry Evans

Published by

Code Green Publishing

ISBN

9781907215179

RRP

£5.99

Reviewed by

Mehmet Hurer MBCS CITP

Score

8 out of 10

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Agile is often a misused term in the software development community. The author sets out to put the record straight by clearly stating what is and is not agile.

The first and longest part of the book addresses not so much the ‘how to’ of agile, but more importantly the ‘why’; why agile was created, including the history of agile and why it should be used. The author also addresses some of the critics’ key perceived drawbacks, such as light documentation and the scaling of agile.

In the second part of the book the author introduces the key agile methods, such as User Stories, Scrum and Extreme Programming, and for each of these methods provides his personal rating out of five. The ‘Agile Alliance’ is also introduced. However do not regard this as a reference guide for these methods as it is only a brief introduction.

In the third part of the book the author discusses the various project development models, such as Waterfall, Spirals, Iterative and Rapid Application Development (RAD), including pros and cons of each model, and how some of them relate to agile.

The book concludes with final advice and an ‘agile shopping list’; a list of sensible and, in some cases, essential techniques required to make a successful agile project. However, at only four pages long, do not expect a detailed reference section.

The only negative comment I would make is that it is a shame the author did not use this opportunity to address the sceptics’ view that agile is not suitable for all software development projects; in reality all projects can benefit from some or all of the agile methods.

In summary the book is well written by an experienced practitioner and easy to understand. The author provides useful background on agile and excellent advice for anyone participating in, or contemplating agile. However, do not expect an in-depth coverage of any of the agile methods as the book is very concise - at just under 140 pages this book can easily be read in an evening. 

Further information: Code Green Publishing

March 2012