Software, Faster
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Software, Faster

From months to minutes

About the Book

The "agile" methods and techniques we use today were pioneered in the 1990s when projects typically ran for multiple years. In the meantime (nearly 20 years!) almost nothing has changed in their approach and they have become the dogma they were designed to supplant. XP zealots were displaced by Scrum zealots, Scrum zealots split into warring factions, people lost sight of the original agile values of collaboration and putting people ahead of process. Even when they are done well, these approaches are optimised for multi-month release cycles.

Technology has moved on, infrastructure that used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take many months to procure is now available on demand for peanuts. And yet we still do the same things we did 20 years ago. And we call it state-of-the-art.

When he left the world of Big Agile consulting Dan North found himself working with teams who were doing what he had been looking for all along. They iterate rapidly on ideas, delivering frequently to delighted and engaged stakeholders. Not just business sponsors, but everyone else: the downstream operations folks, the security and compliance people, even the poor souls responsible for IT governance and strategy, in fact all the vital-yet-unsung stakeholders that get lost in the simplistic Product Owner-plus-Scrum Team, or XP Customer-and-Programmers.

And they do it fast! Not years or months, they can take a new product idea into production in weeks or even days. High quality, business-critical software being used by real people to create real business impact. What's more they can sustain it over time. They build just enough infrastructure to support themselves as they grow, and they maintain the momentum of delivery and delight over multi-year product lifespans.

Maybe this is a massive fluke. Or maybe there's something in there that can be articulated, learned, applied, repeated. By you.

For the last three years Dan has been codifying, applying, teaching and talking about these techniques with experienced delivery folks all over the world, and the feedback has been tremendous. He has been promising to write it all up in a book, over thirty techniques covering everything from analysis, design and testing to team dynamics to planning and tracking, touching on specialist areas like legacy systems and managing distributed components. Dan recently found someone crazy enough to act as editor and sounding board, and Leanpub seems like the perfect vehicle for iteratively developing a book about iterative development. We hope you enjoy it.

About the Authors

Daniel Terhorst-North
Daniel Terhorst-North

Daniel Terhorst-North has been involved in the agile software movement from the very beginning and spent 8 years with one of the leading agile consulting firms, becoming a principal consultant along the way. He developed his own agile methodology, Behaviour-Driven Development, and has become a well-known speaker at conferences all over the world. He is a strong advocate of the values of the Agile Manifesto, but he sees a massive disconnect between the manifesto and the methodologies.

Helen Scott
Helen Scott

Helen is passionate about all things technology and loves working with the development community to help them be awesome. Helen believes that content creation and communication are the best ways to engage with the community and help everyone learn together.

Helen has worked at numerous software companies and has experienced the highs and lows of the software development cycle at all stages. Helen loves to learn new tools and technologies and share that journey of exploration.

Helen has a Computer Science degree from The University of Sussex and a Diploma in Technical Communications from Sheffield Hallam University.

Table of Contents

  •  
    • Introduction
  • I Core Principles
    •  
      • Messages from this section
    • 1. Fits in My Head
      • Shifting the burden
      • Clarity through consistency
      • Designing for my head
      • Contextual Consistency
      • Evolving the guiding principles
      • Difference is data
      • Principles over practices
      • Simplicity over familiarity
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 2. Code is Cost
      • The value of software
      • A systems view of software
      • Business capability
      • Counting the cost of code
      • The goal of software development
      • Effective not productive
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 3. Three Ages
      • Messages from this chapter
  • II Architecture Patterns
    •  
      • Messages from this section
    • 4. Short Software Half-Life
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 5. Replaceable Component Architecture
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 6. Metal Corners
      • Messages from this chapter
  • III Deployment Patterns
    •  
      • Messages from this section
    • 7. Structure for Deployment
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 8. Dancing Skeleton
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 9. Clear the Decks
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 10. Hair Trigger
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 11. Phone Home
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 12. Captain’s Log
      • Messages from this chapter
  • IV Programming Patterns
    •  
      • Messages from this section
    • 13. Spike and Stabilise
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 14. Ginger Cake
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 15. Rolling Rewrite
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 16. Test-Driven Development
      • Messages from this chapter
  • V Testing Patterns
    •  
      • Messages from this section
    • 17. Testing Corners
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 18. Risk Planes
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 19. Border Guard
      • Messages from this chapter
  • VI Analysis Patterns
    •  
      • Messages from this section
    • 20. Analysis Dialysis
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 21. Burn the Ships
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 22. Light Saber
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 23. Deliberate Discovery
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 24. Six Thinking Hats
      • Messages from this chapter
  • VII Planning and Estimation Patterns
    •  
      • Messages from this section
    • 25. Deliberate Planning
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 26. Investment Inversion
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 27. Plan for Capabilities
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 28. Blink Estimation
      • Messages from this chapter
  • VIII Organisational Patterns
    •  
      • Messages from this section
    • 29. The PARC Model
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 30. Conway’s Law as a Lever
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 31. Value Stream Mapping
      • Messages from this chapter
  • IX Team Patterns
    •  
      • Messages from this section
    • 32. Dreyfus Squared
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 33. Seize the Day
      • The three famous questions
      • Carpe Diem: the goal of the stand-up
      • The real three questions
      • Putting the tea in team
      • The case for multiple stand-ups
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 34. Warm Welcome
      • A warm welcome
      • Unpacking the welcome
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 35. Fond Farewell
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 36. Shallow Silos
      • Creating shallow silos
      • Enough skills enough of the time
      • Aligning people to shallow silos
      • Shallow Silos are only one point on a spectrum
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 37. Near and Far
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 38. Team Journal
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 39. Code Critique
      • Sketching with code
      • Team idioms
      • Applying team idioms in a code critique
      • Performing code critiques
      • Messages from this chapter
  • X Transitional Patterns
    •  
      • Messages from this section
    • 40. Hourglass
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 41. Transitional Tool
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 42. Transitional Methodology
      • Messages from this chapter
  • XI Legacy Patterns
    •  
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 43. Strangler Vine
      • Messages from this chapter
    • 44. Lighting the Forest
      • Messages from this chapter
  • XII Concluding Thoughts
    • Bibliography
  • Notes

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