Book review: The Agile Samurai

About two months ago I purchased "The Agile Samurai" by Jonathan Rasmusson from Pragmatic Bookshelf after seeing his presentation "Agile in a nutshell". I was already impressed by how he presented the agile scrum management cycle, as he gave already some good hints and tips on how to implement scrum management processes in ongoing projects.

But it was not until I read the book that I discovered Jonathan is a true expert in this field. With "The Agile Samurai" Jonathan explains in simple words the idea behind scrum, what steps to take in starting scrum management giving pointers on how to deal with developers, managers and customers and how to get everyone involved.

He also gives a lot of hints with his "Master Sensei and the aspiring warrior" where he summarizes each chapter with a dialogue between a student and his master. Throughout the book he also reflects on his own experiences describing a circumstance and how he personally turned a bad situation into a success story.

The book is filled with pretty graphics that not only describes a given situation with one image, but also challenges the reader in thinking further ahead. Since agile processes aren't new, Jonathan refers in his book a lot to other books that go deeper on a given topic Jonathan only touches briefly.

Besides going into detail on managing projects, he also describes topics like "technical depth" (a topic very well explained by Elizabeth Naramore at several PHP conferences), test driven development and continuous integration.

All in all, a must read for anyone who's already familiar with scrum project management processes and want to learn tricks how to get management and customers along for the agile ride. But it's an excellent guide for people who want to start managing projects in an agile way. No matter if you're a developer, a lead developer, a manager or a customer… this book is the best reference for optimizing the way a project can be turned into a success story or dropped before too much time, money and resources are spilled. Become The Agile Samurai.


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