October 20, 2020

Thumbs Up for “Quick Glance At: Agile Engineering Practices”

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I've talked about the importance of technical agile practices. But how do you learn what those things are?

Hi, I’m Jon Reid with QualityCoding.org where I focus on training for iOS teams. And if you saw my Quality Coding Manifesto—oh, if you haven’t seen my manifesto, check it out! I think you’ll enjoy it. But I talk about how you need technical agile practices. What are those? I mentioned three. But really, I mentioned three big categories, and there’s lots of stuff in between, and other stuff outside.

A Quick Guide to Technical Agility

(The book links below are affiliate links. If you buy anything, I earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.)

So here’s what I would do: reach for this book. This is Quick Glance At: Agile Engineering Practices — Part 1, Writing Software by David Tanzer. Let me start from the bottom and break up this title for you.

Book cover

David Tanzer: David is a technical agile coach and trainer in Austria. He, Rene Pirringer, and I teamed up at the tail end of the pre-Covid world to do Advanced TDD Training for iOS folks in Austria. And that that was great. I very much enjoyed working with those two guys and learning from them. So David is good stuff, he knows his stuff, and he’s a good teacher.

Writing Software: That’s what we’re here for.

Part 1: Oh, that’s a tease, David. I hope that there is a Part 2.

Agile Engineering Practices: That’s what I call the technical agile practices—it’s the same thing.

Quick Glance At: This is a curious thing. This is actually a series of books from David which he’s calling “Quick Glance At” where he spends only a couple of pages on any given topic. What I mean is, …here, I’ll just flip it open. Skills vs. practices: we have one page on that. One. Here’s one that’s a little longer—Engineering Notebook: what it looks like and how to keep one. So everything is really quick and fast. Master Your Tools, Taking Smaller Steps, Outside-in vs. inside-out… it goes on and on.

It’s a Menu

So what you have in this book is not a deep dive into any given thing. It’s more like a menu so that you can become acquainted with the things that you don’t know you don’t know.

woman looking at restaurant menu

And that’s exactly what this book is for. You can just open it up and read a couple of pages. In just a few minutes, you’ll know a little bit more and have some pointers from David about where to go deeper. You’ll know what to begin to study on any of these topics.

So I recommend this book, Quick Glance At: Agile Engineering Practices — Part 1, Writing Software by David Tanzer. Thumbs up for me.


"Quick Glance At: Agile Engineering Practices" is like a menu, giving an overview of technical practices you didn't know you needed.

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Jon Reid

About the author

Programming was fun when I was a kid. But working in Silicon Valley, I saw poor code lead to fear, with real human costs. Looking for ways to make my life better, I learned about Extreme Programming, including unit testing, test-driven development (TDD), and refactoring. Programming became fun again! I've now been doing TDD in Apple environments for 19 years. I'm committed to software crafting as a discipline, hoping we can all reach greater effectiveness and joy.

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