Essential Skills for the Agile Developer: A Guide to Better Programming and Design

Cover of Essential Skills for the Agile Developer

“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 discover casino online at Svenskkasinon 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 then click the link for the Preface and enjoy.

Remember, as an AJUG member you can get a 35% discount if you buy the book from  the InformIT website. Check our main Book Review page for details.

See you at next month’s AJUG meeting,
Burk Hufnagel
Blogging at Mind Like a Sword

P.S. Remember to sign up for DevNexus before it’s sold out!

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AJUG Meetup

Building and Deploying 12 Factor Apps in Scala and Java

June 20, 2017

The twelve-factor app is a modern methodology for building software-as-a-service apps:

• Use declarative formats for setup automation, to minimise time and cost for new developers joining the project.

• Have a clean contract with the underlying operating system, offering maximum portability between execution environments.

• Are suitable for deployment on modern cloud platforms, obviating the need for servers and systems administration.

• Minimise divergence between development and production, enabling continuous deployment for maximum agility.

• And can scale up without significant changes to tooling, architecture, or development practices.

We will build a RESTful web service in Java and deploy the app to CloudFoundry. We will go over how to build a cloud manifest, how to keep our database credentials and application configuration outside of our code by using user-provided services and go over what it takes to build a 12 Factor application in the cloud. This presentation will be heavy on code and light on slides!


Roam Dunwoody

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