AoAD2 Chapter: Development (introduction)

Book cover for “The Art of Agile Development, Second Edition.”

Second Edition cover

This is a pre-release excerpt of The Art of Agile Development, Second Edition, to be published by O’Reilly in 2021. Visit the Second Edition home page for information about the open development process, additional excerpts, and more.

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This excerpt is copyright 2007, 2020, 2021 by James Shore and Shane Warden. Although you are welcome to share this link, do not distribute or republish the content without James Shore’s express written permission.


It’s startling how rarely software development processes actually talk about the nuts and bolts of development. The way your team develops matters. It’s what your team spends the most hours doing.

This chapter includes practices to speed up your development and make it more reliable:

  • “Zero Friction” on p.XX removes the delays that slow down development.

  • “Continuous Integration” on p.XX keeps your latest code ready to release.

  • “Test-Driven Development” on p.XX ensures your software does exactly what programmers intend it to do.

  • “Refactoring” on p.XX allows programmers to continuously improve the design of their code.

  • “Spike Solutions” on p.XX enable programmers to learn through small, isolated experiments.

It introduces two key ideas:

  • “Key Idea: Optimize for Maintenance” on p.XX: Maintenance costs are more important than the costs of writing new code.

  • “Key Idea: Fast Feedback” on p.XX: The more quickly you can get feedback, the more quickly you can adjust course and correct mistakes.

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