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Top Agile Books

by Vikas Hazrati on Aug 18, 2010 |

Motivated by the flavor of Agile 2010 conference at Orlando, Jurgen Appelo compiled a list of Top 100 Agile books which would help the software development community.

Jurgen used the approach of getting the ratings from both Amazon and GoodReads, and the dates they were first published. He also used the “also bought this book” feature of Amazon, popularity based on the number of ratings and quality based on average rating along with a few more considerations to arrive at his list.

Jurgen's latest list has the following books in the top 10 amongst the top 100:

NR Title Author(s) Year
1 Agile Estimating and Planning Mike Cohn 2005
2 Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship Robert C. Martin 2008
3 Working Effectively with Legacy Code Michael Feathers 2004
4 Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code Martin Fowler, et al. 1999
5 The Art of Unit Testing: With Examples in .Net Roy Osherove 2009
6 Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices Robert C. Martin 2002
7 The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master Andrew Hunt, David Thomas 1999
8 Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business David J. Anderson 2010
9 Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum Mike Cohn 2009
10 Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests Steve Freeman, Nat Pryce 2009

Last year, InfoQ had a similar post about the book recommendations from the Agile community.

In that list, Mike Cottmeyer had recommended the following books along with a reason for the recommendation:

  • Extreme Programming Explained - Kent Beck - The practices behind XP are the the secret sauce that makes all the agile project management and leadership stuff really hum.
  • Managing Agile Projects with Scrum - Ken Schwaber - Does a great job explaining the project management side of Scrum and is a great resource for someone just getting their feet wet with agile.
  • Agile Estimating and Planning - Mike Cohn - If you understand the fundamentals and want to put planning structure around agile, read this book.
  • User Stories Applied - Mike Cohn - Understanding how to write requirements as functional threads valuable to a customer is hard... this book helps you do it better.
  • Agile Software Development - Alistair Cockburn – A must read for the advanced Agile practitioner. It describes software development as a cooperative game... similar to musicians improvising on stage.
  • Software Project Manager's Bridge to Agility - Michele Sliger and Stacia Broderick – Maps processes behind PMP to Agile. Must read for the PMP trying to manage an agile project.

Some time back Mark Levison had suggested the following books without which he would not start an Agile project. These were:

Mark further mentioned the following books as important:

Would you like to add a book that you recommend to the list?

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A Few Adds by Scott Dunn

Professionally helpful to me, but not in the list, were:
Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, and Kanban and Scrum by Henrik Kniberg and Mattias Skarin.

Personally helpful to me is StrengthsFinder 2.0, which I use for both team-building and coaching.

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