Agile Holiday Reading

Written on 9:53:00 AM by S. Potter

Over the weekend a friend who is just starting to head up a new web product team asked me for for some pointers on good agile project/methods books. I'll try to make my choices as technology agnostic as possible, but some of the material might be more specific to my friend's technology stack (Java/Spring/Hibernate). Not all of these are new books from 2006, so this is definitely for the project manager or technical lead that hasn't read many books on agile software. Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager's Guide
by Craig Larman - Addison-Wesley Professional; 1st edition (August 15, 2003)

Books written for technical managers tend to just fluff over a large portion of the practical nature of managing software projects. This is different.
Test Driven Development: By Example (Addison-Wesley Signature Series)
by Kent Beck - Addison-Wesley Professional; 1st edition (November 8, 2002)
Good first read for those just starting TDD. Not for the TDD guru!
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
by Fowler, Beck, Brant, Opdyke, Roberts - Addison-Wesley Professional; 1st edition (June 28, 1999)
Great book whether the project already has a large existing code base or if you are just starting out, refactoring is almost the most important part of agile software projects. As long as your remember that without the test assets agile software products should possess, refactoring would be (and is for many non-agile developers) highly error prone. Remember the refactoring strategies outlined in this book heavily rely on being test-infected on your project. Don't try this at home without having a solid arsenal of unit, functional and integration tests for your product.
Agile Java(TM): Crafting Code with Test-Driven Development (Robert C. Martin Series)
by Jeff Langr - Prentice Hall PTR (February 14, 2005)
Good for those needing to learn JDK 1.5 with TDD best practices specific to Java.
If you have favorites that provide different insights or focus on different aspects of agile software methods, please send us the information via comments.

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