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Is the book itself 'Agile'?

Qunfeng Wang
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Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 433
Is your book agile too? I mean less pages.

I think if agile development means less documents so do the books on it.

[Edit to provide meaningful subject]
[ November 07, 2006: Message edited by: David O'Meara ]

To be or not to be. It's a question.
Svend Rost
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2002
Posts: 904
That's an interesting point of view.. however, as I see it agile isn't
the same as simple.

What i'd like to see in a book about agile or lean
development is illustrations or examples of the ideas and concepts
rather than lots and lots of theoretical considerations.
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Loius Wan:
I think if agile development means less documents so do the books on it.


Well, being Agile doesn't mean just producing less documents - that would be a reduction in communication, which likely wouldn't be a good thing.

What makes you more Agile is *replacing* documents with hotter forms of communication, such as face-to-face discussions. I guess that means having Mary and Tom here for discussions is a step in the right direction!

Seriously, I have read their previous book, which discussed the principles of Lean Software Development, and think it didn't waste a character on superfluous content.

On the other hand, if you are able to attend one of their workshops, I can highly recommend that, too!


The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
Gian Franco
blacksmith
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Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 977
Hi,

I don't think the term 'agile' should be thrown
against everything.

Why should the book be 'agile' as well?

In other words, I'd prefer a 'non-agile' book
as long as at the end the concepts are clear.
Take for example the well known HF series, I
don't think these are 'agile', but they do
pass the message clearly for a big audience.

Kind regards,

Gian


"Eppur si muove!"
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Gian Franco Casula:
I don't think the term 'agile' should be thrown
against everything.


That's a good point!

I also like to distinguish between "agile" and "Agile Software Development".

"agile" is the term as defined by a dictionary - like in every day usage. What would it mean for a book to be "agile"? I have no idea.

"Agile Software Development" is a name given to a family of software development processes. As a name, it transcends the dictionary meaning - to be *A*gile, a process needs to incorporate the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto (which is what comes closest to a definition for "Agile Software Development"): http://agilemanifesto.org/ What would it mean for a book to be "Agile"? Well, as a book is a "thing", and not a process, I'm not sure that it could mean anything useful...
Burk Hufnagel
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Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 814
    
    3
Originally posted by Loius Wan:
Is your book agile too? I mean less pages.

I think if agile development means less documents so do the books on it.



Seems to me that it usually takes more time to explain how to do something that it takes to do it. For a book this translates to more pages. Especially if the thing being described contains steps that are not obvious to a newbie.

That being said, I believe that if a book is too thick people will hesitate to start reading it no matter how good it is supposed to be. Some kind of intimidation factor kicks in when the book's a couple of inches thick - especially if there's little whitespace.

The book in question's only 300 or so pages. Given the topic, I think the answer to your question is "Yes".


SCJP, SCJD, SCEA 5 "Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!" Agatha Heterodyne (Girl Genius)
Tom Poppendieck
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 03, 2006
Posts: 5
Loius-

We invested heavily in refactoring the text to remove duplication, to communicate clearly, and verifying by testing in our classes that the discussion was effective in addressing the issues they presented us with.
Qunfeng Wang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 433
I think Burk expresses this idea more clearly.

At first the book should explain concept clearly. Beside this if the book can be refactored thinner, it does be a good news for new guys to this subject.

No more than 400 pages, it's a good book I will recommend to my team. Thanks for your good points.
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
 
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