Practices of an Agile Developer is Out

I got excited today to learn that Practices of an Agile Developer is already shipping. I was given the rare treat of reviewing an earlier draft of the book, and I think it’s a great addition to the Agile canon.

Andy Hunt and Venkat Subramaniam cover about 45 agile practices from Invest In Your Team to Architects Must Write Code. The topics are generally 3-5 pages long and its about 200 pages so you can finish it in a single night.

I mention the single night, because that’s how long it took to read the first draft. It’s just really rare that you get a well written book on exactly the topic you’re most passionate about. There really isn’t a better book covering Agile practices.

Just one example was a practice entitled Warnings Are Really Errors:

Find a way to tell your compiler to treat warnings as errors. If your compiler allows you to fine tune warning reporting levels, turn that knob all the way up so no warnings are ignored.

Such an obvious idea, but like I suspect so many others I had regularly let warnings go figuring, heck they don’t mean anything. Psycologically they always bugged me, but I let it go. It’s really not too different from dropping tests because you’re in a hurry with the idea you’ll get back to them later. Making them actual errors enforces fixing things up front, nice.

My favorite part of the book is the suggested courses of actions in what to implement first as a manager leading your team down an Agile path, but that’s a post for another time.