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 a Java Developer Advocate who works 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
  • Core Principles
    • 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
    • Code is Cost
      • The Value of Software
      • A Systems View of Software
      • Business Capability
      • The Cost of Code
      • The Goal of Software Delivery
      • Effective not Productive
      • Messages from this chapter
    • Three Ages
      • The Goals of the Three Ages
      • Agile methods optimise for predictability
      • Beyond Features
      • Transitioning between ages
      • Messages from this chapter
  • Architecture Patterns
    • Short Software Half-Life
    • Replaceable Component Architecture
    • Metal Corners
  • Deployment Patterns
    • Structure for Deployment
    • Dancing Skeleton
    • Clear the Decks
    • Hair Trigger
    • Phone Home
    • Captain’s Log
  • Programming Patterns
    • Spike and Stabilise
    • Ginger Cake
    • Rolling Rewrite
    • Test-Driven Development
  • Testing Patterns
    • Testing Corners
    • Risk Planes
    • Border Guard
  • Analysis Patterns
    • Analysis Dialysis
    • Burn the Ships
    • Light Saber
    • Deliberate Discovery
    • Six Thinking Hats
  • Planning and Estimation Patterns
    • Deliberate Planning
    • Investment Inversion
    • Plan for Capabilities
    • Blink Estimation
  • Organisational Patterns
    • The PARC Model
    • Conway’s Law as a Lever
    • Value Stream Mapping
  • Team Patterns
    • Dreyfus Squared
    • Seize the Day
      • Three Questions
      • Carpe Diem: the Goal of the Stand-Up
      • The Real Three Questions
      • Putting the Tea into Team
      • The Case for Multiple Stand-Ups
    • Warm Welcome
      • A warm welcome
      • Unpacking the welcome
      • Messages from this chapter
    • Code Critique
    • Shallow Silos
    • Near and Far
    • Team Journal
  • Transitional Patterns
    • Hourglass
    • Transitional Tool
    • Transitional Methodology
  • Legacy Patterns
    • Strangler Vine
    • Lighting the Forest
  • Concluding Thoughts
    • Bibliography
  • Notes

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