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Book Excerpt: Agile Software Development, 2nd ed.

Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game (2nd Edition), Alistair Cockburn's new update to his classic work, was published last week by Addison-Wesley.   This second edition profits from five more years of practice and research, expanding the author's ideas even further, into the domains of business and engineering projects.  Though he's added content to the book in the new "Evolutions" chapters, the basics have not changed. In the InfoQ exclusive excerpt from Chapter 1, Cockburn is once again encouraging us to think about software development as a "cooperative game of invention and communication.”

Cockburn observes that software development is difficult to talk about - it's at once disciplined and exploratory, mathematical and artistic, so he has chosen to come at it in a unique way.  In this introductory chapter, Cockburn uses analogies to examine what we do, asking “What would the experience of developing software be like if it were not software we were developing?” He uses examples from both his own art form (poetry) and from co-operative games like rock-climbing, to explore other ways of thinking and talking about software development, providing new mental models for teams that want to develop better processes.

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