Skip to content

August 2, 2006

Agile Software Development with Scrum

Book Review-Agile Software Development with Scrum

If you regularly read this blog then you know that I’ve been doing a lot of reading and reviewing of agile methodology books. (Agile & Iterative Development: A Manager’s Guide, Balancing Agility and Discipline: A Guide for the Perplexed, etc.)  It’s a curiosity of mine both in terms of looking for things that can help with current methodologies and how one might do the best implementation of an agile method in a project.  I’ve also been reviewing more traditional software development titles to see how they might be useful in making projects more successful (The Security Development Lifecycle, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Peopleware, The Rational Unified Process Made Easy: A Practitioner’s guide to RUP, etc.)

One of the challenges is finding a book that talks about real world experience with agile methodologies.  Agile Software Development with Scrum is that book.  While Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle are careful to include the fundamental psychology that makes Scrum work, they also share many personal experiences with how projects have succeeded or failed – and what factored into those successes and failures.

While the book won’t make you a good Scrum Master right out of the gate, it does go farther than other books in explaining the psychological underpinnings of Scrum ideas so that you can adapt the methods to suit your needs – most Agile proponents and books advocate a “no changes” sort of policy.  While this book doesn’t directly encourage making changes it takes a much softer line on the issue than previous agile development books.

Whether you’re looking for the practical details of how to implement scrum or the background to understand why scrum works, you’ll find an answer in Agile Software Development with Scrum

Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking

Book Review-Blink

Back in January I read (and reviewed) Malcom Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point.   I liked it so much that Malcolm’s next book, Blink, quickly made my reading list.  I don’t read many books that don’t have some sort of technology tie-in so Blink was a good change of pace.

The basic overview of Blink is a walkthrough of how we make snap decisions (quick decisions), why they’re mostly right, how that works, and how to make better use of the unconscious thinking that goes into  those quick decisions.

The subtitle “The power of thinking without thinking” is appropriate because it exposes how our unconscious mind is always thinking about the situations around us even when our conscious mind is not.

It’s a great exploration of the topic – particularly since I’m fascinated by the change that takes place from the first time you do it vs. when you’re proficient at it.  Flying for instance.  The first time I flew a plane it was way too much information.  I couldn’t do things fast enough.  I couldn’t evaluate all the variables faster than the plane was flying.  Now I don’t even consciously think about the variables involved in landing a plane.

If you’re interested in how you make snap decisions, why they’re right more often than not, and what to do about the situations where you’re not right, Blink is a book you should read.

Recent Posts

Public Speaking