Team programming is social. It’s not an isolated activity.
Programmers don’t like being interrupted—and for good reason. When you’re on a roll coding, you get into a kind of “zone,” a state of high concentration where work seems to just flow. In fact, a lot of people have a name for this state: flow. It’s actually pretty much the same thing as when an athlete is “in the zone” (where players feel like the baseball is the size of a watermelon, or the basketball hoop looks like it’s 10-feet wide). This effect has actually been studied, and those studies found that it can take 15 to 45 minutes for a programmer to reach that state. An interruption, like a phone call or an annoying email, can completely break you out of flow. If you get two phone calls an hour, you can sit at your desk all day and get nothing done.
An interruption, like a phone call or an annoying email, can completely break you out of flow.
Junilu Lacar wrote:(I'll explain that next, if you want me to expound)
Pete Letkeman wrote:The tools were not there and need was not clearly visible either.
Junilu Lacar wrote:I don't want get into TDD too much here and digress from the original question of target audience so I will start another topic specifically about TDD.
nick woodward wrote:also, just to confirm - most agile books are management material by their very nature? I only ask because XP Explained: Embrace Change has had this same criticism levelled at in in it's amazon reviews.
Junilu Lacar wrote:Not sure which tools you were missing. I have an IDE and JUnit. Those are pretty much all the tools you need to do TDD. Well, those and a version control system like Git or Subversion.
Who is this book for?
If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions:
1. Are you a developer, project manager, business analyst, designer, or other member of a team, and you’re looking to improve your projects?
2. Is your team going agile, but you’re not really sure what that means or how you fit in?
3. Are you thinking about a job search, and want to understand why employers are asking for agile experience?
4. Do you prefer stimulating dinner-party conversation to dry, dull, academic lectures?
this book is for you.
Kent Beck, author of Extreme Programming Explained (Beck 2000), described the use of Extreme Programming (XP) using similar levels. Asked about XP and the five levels of the Software Engineering Institute’s “Capability Maturity Model,” he replied with XP’s three levels of maturity:
1. Do everything as written.
2. After having done that, experiment with variations in the rules.
3. Eventually, don’t care if you are doing XP or not.
As a developer, my view of agile software development is skewed mostly towards the technical practices like pair programming, test-driven development, refactoring, and continuous integration. Kent Beck, Jeffries, Fowler, Martin, and others like them had a more developer-oriented focus: they wanted to make developers' lives better and work more enjoyable. Software quality and simplicity was definitely something that was highly valued and there was strong focus on technical excellence.
I'm not condemning the book in any way, I'm just giving my honest impressions. The book looks like it covers a wide range of topics from principles, Scrum, XP, Kanban, Lean, etc.
nick woodward wrote:I'm currently learning to develop software and was wondering if this book is good from that perspective rather than from a managerial role? Also what methodologies does it cover? O'Reillys shop doesn't seem to cover either of these. Apologies if these are ill informed questions, I've just started looking into the area and the headfirst books are always a good place to start.
Pete Letkeman wrote:I would also like to know the answer to this as I’ve been a (pretty much the single) developer for a one stop shop.
Does this book give the developer like me a place to start with Agile development?
Piet Souris wrote:I've always found it impolite when an author is invited to answer questions about a published book, only to see that others reply, without giving the author the chance to reply first. Unfortunately, this happens on quite a regular basis. No one ever made a remark about this, so it could be just me feeling it this way. If so, so be it.
Andrew Stellman wrote:
The posts you wrote really come across as condemning to me – obviously I'm biased, and clearly this is just my own opinion! – and from the responses I'm seeing in this thread, I think other people are drawing the conclusion that an expert in agile thinks our book isn't worth reading. That definitely stings. Our past CodeRanch promotions were definitely met with a much warmer reception. Still, I'll do my best to answer the questions and respond to as many comments as I can – mainly because I'm really passionate about helping people to learn agile (which is the whole reason that Jenny and I write these books).