This week's book giveaway is in the Agile and Other Processes forum. We're giving away four copies of Darcy DeClute's Scrum Master Certification Guide: The Definitive Resource for Passing the CSM and PSM Exams and have Darcy DeClute on-line! See this thread for details.
O'Reilly wrote:Learning Agile is a comprehensive guide to the most popular agile methods, written in a light and engaging style that makes it easy for you to learn.
Agile has revolutionized the way teams approach software development, but with dozens of agile methodologies to choose from, the decision to "go agile" can be tricky. This practical book helps you sort it out, first by grounding you in agile’s underlying principles, then by describing four specific—and well-used—agile methods: Scrum, extreme programming (XP), Lean, and Kanban.
Each method focuses on a different area of development, but they all aim to change your team’s mindset—from individuals who simply follow a plan to a cohesive group that makes decisions together. Whether you’re considering agile for the first time, or trying it again, you’ll learn how to choose a method that best fits your team and your company.
* Understand the purpose behind agile’s core values and principles
* Learn Scrum’s emphasis on project management, self-organization, and collective commitment
* Focus on software design and architecture with XP practices such as test-first and pair programming
* Use Lean thinking to empower your team, eliminate waste, and deliver software fast
* Learn how Kanban’s practices help you deliver great software by managing flow
* Adopt agile practices and principles with an agile coach
"Learning Agile" was an awesome book. It introduces Scrum, XP, lean and kanban nicely with good examples an narratives. This was not your serious "animal series" O'Reilly book. In addition to numerous cartoons and diagrams, I even spotted a Head First style image and two xkcd comics.
What's called Chapter 1 introduces agile followed by what would traditionally be the introduction.Interesting seeing those two reversed. It works though as it shows the points of view of different readers. I like how each chapter ends with FAQs, exercises you can today and ideas to learn more. The key point boxes sprinkled through each chapter were helpful as well.
I'm particularly impressed with how they handled the names of characters in Chapter 2. When I saw the characters introduced I groaned thinking it was one of those books where I would have to keep track of who these people are. But there was enough context for it to be obvious. And when they referred to them at the end of the chapter, their titles were restated. The authors even told us at the end of the story that we wouldn't be seeing them again. After that, I trusted that the narratives would be easy to follows and wasn't disappointed.
I liked the phrases "better-than-not-doing-it" and "magical thinking". For me, the test of an agile or process book is whether I finish with ideas of new things to try. And I do.