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Undergraduate Textbook for Agile Development

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One of the most disheartening, yet oddly consistent, modern truths about software engineering university graduates is that a frightening number are unlikely to be coming out of school equipped with the kind of understanding about software development required to practice it in a good, clean, professional manner. When it comes to agile software development, the problem is even worse - significantly. A soon to be published undergraduate textbook by Orit Hazzan and Yael Dubinsky is a step towards turning this around.

To be fair, efforts by forward thinking professors (such as Carol Wellington, Tom Briggs, and Dudley Girard at Pennsylvania's Shippensburg University, as well as Dr. Dave West at New Mexico Highlands University) and even some professionals (such as Jim Shore, Andrew Black, and Diana Larsen) to increase the presence of agile development in undergraduate academic content deserve much acknowledgement and credit. But in reality these efforts are still leading edge, far from common place.

Hazzan and Dubinsky, professors at the Israel Institute for Technology, have taken a big step towards improving this situation by publishing a textbook about agile, one targeted solely for undergraduate education. Their book, Agile Software Engineering (Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science) is set to hit shelves September 5th, 2008.

From the Amazon product description:
This concise easy-to-follow textbook presents the crucial issues in software engineering using the agile approach to software development - one of the mainstream paradigms for the management of software projects and one that is being applied more and more extensively.

Global principles are presented with detailed practices that can be easily implemented by readers, providing a comprehensive understanding of the important elements of agile software development methods. The authors highlight and integrate technical, social, cognitive and managerial aspects of software development processes in this unique book based on their refreshingly updated software engineering methods course.
Also according to the product description, topics include:
  • Discusses the delivery of software projects on time and within budgets by using the agile software development environment
  • Considers the customer, as well as the other roles, in agile software development environments
  • Looks at measures to control and monitor the software development process
  • Investigates the impact of agility on the organization level
  • Examines software development processes and environments from a managerial perspective
  • Emphasizes the wider context of each topic to software engineering
The initiative by Hazzan and Dubinsky to publish such a textbook is a noteworthy achievement primarily by the example it sets, an example some might hope to be the start of a coming trend.

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