Lean-Agile Software Development

Author: Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver & James R. Trott
Publisher: Addison Wesley, 2009
Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-0321532893
Aimed at: Beginners at lean-agile
Rating: 4
Pros: A reasonable overview
Cons: Strange logical progression
Reviewed by: Andrew Johnson

This book is a fairly standard introduction to agile development with some lean principles thrown in. The book consists of three parts: first "Extending our view beyond projects"; second "Lean project management" and last "Looking back, looking forward."

The first part of the book seems to argue that lean project managment should be applied globally across projects but the actual mechanisms that make this possible aren't made at all clear. The first chapter deals mainly with how lean extends the agile view and to get anything from it you need to know something about both. The second chapter argues the business case for agile and its mainly an account of how to convince people tht agile is a good idea. Chapter Three is about how agile fits into the bigger picture - it really doesn't have very much to say. Chapter Four is about lean portfolio management and this seems to present the whole agile idea again using different jargon.

The second part of the book starts with a chapter that makes the argument that Scrum isn't enough and needs to be augmented if it is to work at the enterprise level.The result is Scrum#, which adds lean methodology, or alternatively Kanban, which attempts to focus on adding small features rather than product iterations. Chapter Six deals with Iteration 0 and Chapter Seven  on relase planning. The following chapters deal with visual controls, Q&A, transitioning to agile, the managment role, co-ordination between mulitple teams and a very short look at design and architecture. Part Three consists of a single chapter musing on the philosophy of lean developemnt.

The biggest problem with this book is that it assumes a lot of background knowledge of agile and Scrum in particular. It also tends to jump all over the place, presenting ideas in an order that might have a logic but one that isn't made very clear.

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Learn Python the Hard Way

Author: Zed Shaw
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Pages: 311
ISBN: 978-0321884916
Audience: Beginner
Rating: 3.5
Reviewed by: Mike Driscoll

Now in its 3rd edition, is this a useful introduction for Python beginners?



Learn Raspberry Pi with Linux

Author: Peter Membrey & David Hows
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 249
ISBN: 978-1430248217
Audience: People unfamiliar with Linux
Rating: 2
Reviewer: Harry Fairhead

Raspberry Pi  is a great hit, but the fact that it uses Linux as its standard OS is a barrier to many beginners. A book that explains [ ... ]


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