Book Review: Agile Samurai by Jonathan Rasmusson

I knew I was going to like The Agile Samurai from the first page:

Agile is a way of developing software that reminds us that although computers run the code, it’s people who create and maintain it.

Jonathan Rasmussen, the Other JR, has written a great, short, to-the-point book about how to move a project to agile. From the beginning “Deliver something of value every week” to the Agile Principles sprinkled throughout the book, such as “The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams” to the conversations between the student and the Sensei, you can learn how to move your project from where it is to agile.

Some pieces I particularly like are:

  1. All of Chapter 4, Seeing the Big Picture, where Jonathan suggests we need an elevator pitch for our project. I’m stealing this idea right away.
  2. Chapter 8: Agile Planning, Dealing with Reality. After a humorous side trip with Murphy and his Law, Jonathan introduces us to burndown, burnup, and team velocity charts.
  3. Chapter 15: Continuous Integration: Making it Production-Ready. What if you only had one hour to deploy your product. Could you? Jonathan walks you through what you need to do to make the code production ready.

Jonathan has great advice about how to know how agile you are:

And don’t forget. It’s not about “being” agile. It’s about building great products and delivering world class service to your customers.

This is a great book. The Prags offer it in print, pdf, mobi, and epub. Amazon offers The Agile Samurai: How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software in print. If you are thinking of starting an agile journey, do yourself a favor and get this book. You will not be sorry.

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