“Essential Skills” is a part of Net Objectives’ Lean-Agile series. The authors’ intent is to teach the”minimal set of skills developers need on the journey toward becoming adept at incremental development.” In my opinion they’ve more than met that goal.
Though the title says “Agile Developer”, it could easily have been “Java Developer”. Almost all the examples are in Java, and the skills are just as useful to Java developers as to any other kind.
Because it focuses on good software development fundamentals, “Essential Skills” is one of those rare books that is valuable to both beginners and experienced developers.
Beginners will learn to develop high quality software, while experienced developers will be reminded of valuable practices they may have dropped while attempting to meet aggressive deadlines. But there’s more…
The authors also describe the benefits gained, which is quite useful when you’re asked to “cut corners” and deliver something sooner. (Imagine flashes of lightning and ominous music here.) Once business people see how rushing things out the door decreases code quality, and eventually results in longer deliver times, they tend to back off a bit.
It’s been said that moving a team producing so-so software to an agile process won’t improve the quality. They’ll just do it faster. However, the essential skills you learn in this book will increase the quality of your software. And, over time, you may notice that it’s sped things up too – whether you go agile or not.
In short, I strongly recommend this book for both beginning and experienced developers, no matter what methodology you follow. I found myself nodding in agreement more than a few times as I read, and I think you will too.
Oh, yes. One more thing. If you do nothing else, go read the Preface. Yes. That’s right, I said read the Preface. It’s only two pages long, but there’s something worth learning right there. If you’re not sitting in a bookstore, you can get it straight from the publisher at InformIT. If the link doesn’t work, just go to http://safari.informit.com/9780321700469 then click the link for the Preface and enjoy.
See you at next month’s AJUG meeting,
Blogging at Mind Like a Sword
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