I am going to begin with a few comments about the purpose of this book and what went into writing it.
The book is based on more than six years of working on several projects using Agile software development methodology. These projects began at several different companies, across several industries, and varied in size from small to extremely large.
This volume is a set of perspectives and stories from the trenches of these Agile projects based on my experiences as a senior software engineer, a technical lead, and an automation engineer.
It is as much a telling of what can go wrong using Agile as it is a guide on how to avoid land mines.
The purpose of the book is not to point out mistakes by management or others. Rather, it is told from the standpoint of people who had to deal with decisions made by managers and how better planning and understanding could have gone a long way. It is definitely an opinionated view, and I do not claim here to have all the answers. By sharing these stories and perspectives, ideally, some development teams may be spared the headaches and frustration that I’ve seen.
Here’s a note about the format. Each chapter outlines a specific challenge and then provides some real-life stories that illustrate these challenges. However, these stories are not just about negative experiences. There are also some positive stories that demonstrate how the challenges were handled well. Finally, for each story I provide some advice on how to avoid the same pitfalls or, in the case of positive stories, point out what can be emulated.
This is not strictly a book on Agile software development. It talks more broadly about how management’s decisions can really hurt morale, contribute to terrible code quality, and ultimately cause the best employees to seek opportunities elsewhere. While knowledge of Agile software development is not a requirement to read this book, it will make understanding some of the stories and terminology easier.
So, who should read this book? Well, our readers could be anyone who has been involved in Agile projects, or development projects in general, who would like to hear about what is happening in other companies, or anyone who is looking for some advice on how to improve the process of adopting Agile in his or her company. Finally, some developers may simply enjoy reading this book because they can relate to the stories.