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This weeks giveaway

 
Carl Trusiak
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This week we are giving away 4 copies of the book Agile Software Development.
And the best part, Alistair Cockburn is on-line to answer your questions.
Lets give him a warm JavaRanch welcome.
Thanks to the people at Addison-Wesley for the books.
See the Book Promotion page for qualification details.
[ February 19, 2002: Message edited by: Junilu Lacar ]
 
Doug Wang
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Hi Alistair,
Hearty welcome to this ranch! So lucky to have you here.
Iam reading the draft version of this book. Thanks for contributing it online for preview.
From the introduction, this book is more about the philosophy of Agile methodologies than a how-to book, right? Then what the suggestion you will give to Level 1(the Shu stage) listener?
How about Software Development as Cooperative Game? Is that just this one(you've changed the title)?
 
Tiger Scott
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Alistair,
Is another methodology required? Does it not make the market place more confusing?
Sanjay
 
Junilu Lacar
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Hi Alistair,
Welcome to JavaRanch!
The book must be selling well: we've been having a bit of trouble getting the publisher to send us a copy for review. I guess I'll have to base my review for the Bunkhouse on the preview (unless you'd like to send me a signed copy... )
Looking forward to a great week here in Process, XP, UP, etc.
Junilu Lacar
 
Shubhrajit Chatterjee
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Hi,
I have not read the book yet, though I have managed to get a draft copy ( thanks to Doug Wang ) . You can get it from the thread...
http://www.javaranch.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=42&t=000110
On browsing thru few of the pages ... it definitely looks interesting...I will definitely read it with full concentration till the end...
However, I have one strange feedback..perhaps no one has given this before !!! - regarding the layout of the book.
The online draft version of the book is written out in two columns. This is quite inconvenient to the readers, specially those who are reading it online on a 14" or 15" monitor. We have to do a lot of scrolling back and forth. I feel that it offers better usability if presented in a single column.
 
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Shubhrajit Chatterjee:

However, I have one strange feedback..perhaps no one has given this before !!! - regarding the layout of the book.

The online draft version of the book is written out in two columns. This is quite inconvenient to the readers, specially those who are reading it online on a 14" or 15" monitor. We have to do a lot of scrolling back and forth. I feel that it offers better usability if presented in a single column.

You are not planning to read the whole book on the monitor, are you? Do your eyes a favor - buy the book!
 
Fei Ng
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welcome author Alistair!
I hope you have great time here this week.
I am going to check the draft (thanks Doug) of your book. I am sure i will have comments and questions on it. Thats it for now and again Welcome!
john
 
JeanLouis Marechaux
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Hi,
Can someone explain to me briefly what is "agile soft dev" ?
I'm lost with UP, RUP, UML, Xp etc...
TIA
[ February 20, 2002: Message edited by: Bill Bailey ]
 
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Bill Bailey:
Hi,
Can someone explain to me briefly what is "agile soft dev" ?
TIA

See http://www.agilealliance.org/
 
BILAL HAMEED
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welcome to javaranch ALISTAIR but i dont think we have heard from u a single time till now.
 
Alistair Cockburn
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There was a missed communication, and I was awaiting instructions and traveling at the same time. I only received notice about it tonight. I'm dialing in from a hotel in Stockholm, and after tomorrow, from a friend's house. So I'll try to put in an hour each day for the next days.
cheers - Alistair
 
Doug Wang
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Alistair,
Could you talk about your writing plan of this year?
When will you finish the book Use Case Modeling: Patterns of Quality? Can you tell me more about writing use cases?
Thanks.
P.S. I am not quite sure I catch your intent of writing Appendix B. (I am reading the draft 3b version)
[ February 21, 2002: Message edited by: Doug Wang ]
 
Fei Ng
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i second on Doug's question on Use Case Modeling Patterns of Quality. Been trying to study patterns and patterns of quality was on my mind while i was studying patterns.
Oops, we should talk about he giveaway right?hehehe..
Doug, you love his books don't you?
I haven't got a chance to read the draft yet.
 
Pho Tek
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The agile manifesto reads:
  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
  • Responding to change over following a plan


  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
    I think Agile methods will work only within a group of semi or highly experienced developers. Its the quality of those individuals that will make a difference. By that I mean individuals who understands patterns over just code and always with good communication skills. I've noticed that novice developers either:
    - think that their first design is sufficient.
    - or if faced with constructive criticism, just give in without negotiation.
    With that kind of "interaction"; peer review or pair programming is never going to produce anything collaborative.
    Working software over comprehensive documentation.
    Developers are surely salivating over this.
    BUT, We have tech writers and project managers to do this sort of things. So we certainly can have both "working software" and "comprehensive documentation" if that was agreed with the stakeholders.
    I believe we cannot do without documentation
    but I believe in the "Less UML diagrams, more relevant content" tenet.
    Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
    Throw in the stakeholders in the pot; and those inexperienced developers are going to cave in to their demands and design the software as the "customer" wants it (probably with poor UI usability etc..).
    Responding to change over following a plan
    Yes I agree with this. Less Microsoft Project, more risk management.
    Thanks
    Pho
    [ February 21, 2002: Message edited by: Pho Tek ]
     
    Doug Wang
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    Originally posted by Pho Tek:

    I think Agile methods will work only within a group of semi or highly experienced developers. Its the quality of those individuals that will make a difference.

    Pho,
    I agree with your comments mostly. So what qualification do you think individuals participated in a agile project should have?
     
    Pho Tek
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    Doug,

    So what qualification do you think individuals participated in a agile project should have?

    On top of technical skills, they should have these attributes too:
    1. Good communication skills
    Should be able to communicate with lay person, the significance of a design, technology. He/She should be able to switch with ease between the abstract world of software and real world.
    Should have good writing skills too!
    Should be someone who doesn't mind face to face communication rather than email.
    A seeker of the truth.
    2. Should have their own personal software process
    What I mean by this is that the developer should be disciplined enough to have discovered a suitable method of working that promotes continuous improvement. While I am not advocating that you follow another "Process" like the PSP(sm) by SEI, I think an experienced developer should (but not limited to):
    (a) Be able to juggle priorities.
    (b) Have a personal knowledge management system of collecting wisdom and best practises.
    (c) A system of knowing what's done, what's to be done next.
    (d) Knows how he/she spends his/her daily 24 hours.
    (e) Knows who/where to find reliable answers on the internet or in a community SIG (Special interest groups).
    (f) An optimizing enthusiast.
    An other more "fuzzy" stuff like Team player, critical/analytical mind, view problems as opportunites.
    Just my $0.02!
    Pho
     
    Ilja Preuss
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    Originally posted by Pho Tek:
    I think Agile methods will work only within a group of semi or highly experienced developers. Its the quality of those individuals that will make a difference. By that I mean individuals who understands patterns over just code and always with good communication skills. I've noticed that novice developers either:
    - think that their first design is sufficient.
    - or if faced with constructive criticism, just give in without negotiation.
    With that kind of "interaction"; peer review or pair programming is never going to produce anything collaborative.

    I do agree with your last point, but I don't think this has something to do with experience. Often all what an unexperienced developer needs to shine is massive feedback. Pair Programming lets them prosper in a way I haven't seen otherwise.
    Kind Regards, Ilja
     
    Doug Wang
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    Hi Pho,
    Thanks for your long response.
    Originally posted by Pho Tek:
    1. Good communication skills

    Absolutely agree. And maybe should be honest.
    2. Should have their own personal software process, should be disciplined enough...

    But the author prefer less discipline. And Alistair's method is considered as the most lightweight one. I am wondering which necessary disciplines required?
     
    Alistair Cockburn
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    How do you guys put in a quote to a previous append? I haven't sussed that one out yet?
    Writing: I'm "finishing" the last 10% of a PhD for the next few months, while Paul Bramble and Steve Adolph slave over the use case patterns/guidelines book, my guess is end of summer or fall. Then I'll move to Crystal Clear, which needs a total overhaul (I drafted it late 1998, before the XP books started coming out, so it is badly out of sync with the times). That'll take me through the rest of this year, anyway.
    about "Originally posted by Pho Tek: I think Agile methods will work only within a group of semi or highly experienced developers"... I posted the reply to this inside the *Cheating* thread, where it better belongs.
     
    Doug Wang
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    Alistair,
    A million thanks for all your informative replies! You do clarify many of my concept on agile development.
    We will miss you much after this week.
    Thanks again. And may you a nice weekend.
    [ February 22, 2002: Message edited by: Doug Wang ]
    [ February 22, 2002: Message edited by: Doug Wang ]
     
    Fei Ng
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    One last question....
    Is book Agile Software Development a good starting book for newbie? I dont even know what are UP, RUP, DRUP, XP, etc. I have been trying to keep up with all the posts (questions & answers). If not any suggestion on where to start?
    One good start up book would be helpful!
    Everybody!! have a great weekend!
    thanks
     
    Ilja Preuss
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    Originally posted by Alistair Cockburn:
    How do you guys put in a quote to a previous append?

    Use the right-most icon (reply with quote) on the top of the message you want to reply to.
    Regards, Ilja
     
    shailesh sonavadekar
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    alistair , you are pursuing your pH.D ? so , we will miss your writings . what's the thesis topic in you want to divuldge ?
     
    Alistair Cockburn
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    Since I was such a bad guest and didn't show up until Thursday morning, and then was cut off again Friday night, I'll keep on here for another week. Keep asking questions.
    My PhD is on the same thing as my Agile book, namely people and methodologies.

    As for "is Agile SD" a good book for a newbie, I can't answer that. I wrote it for the middle to advanced crowd. Everybody is a newbie at something, so "what is a good book" is relative to what you want to learn about.
     
    Patrick Krook
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    Alistair,
    Thanks for participating in the forum. I'm sorry I didn't notice this weeks giveaway sooner. Their is a lot of growing interest in Agile Devlopment here in Chicagoland. March the 13th, my compnay is hosting the local users group meeting...perhaps I'l give your book away too!
    -Patrick Krook
     
    Gerry Giese
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    Originally posted by Alistair Cockburn:
    My PhD is on the same thing as my Agile book, namely people and methodologies.

    Is your thesis paper available on the web? Is it still 'valid', or have you changed enough of your thinking that the books are more 'correct?
     
    Alistair Cockburn
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    The thesis is roughly titled "People and methodologies in software development". It is built around my articles: The implication of OO on application development, Surviving OO Projects' case studies, Selecting a project's methodology, Characterizing people as first-order nonlinear components in software development, Just-in-time methodology construction, Barely sufficient methodologies.
    The delta from those articles is the notion of a project instance as an "ecosystem" that includes people, stairways, watering holes, etc. The details of the ecosystem affect the methodology and vice versa. The two need to be in interplay.
    That means a methodology off the shelf will basically never fit a team - the team needs to modify it to fit them (and perhaps change themselves in the process). The technique for doing so is in the Just-in-time paper, which is at
    http://www.crystalmethodologies.org/articles/jmc/justintimemethodologyconstruction.html
    Of course, before it becomes a PhD thesis, it has to be accepted by a triumverate, and that's never a given...
     
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