Tim Cooke

Review: The Nature of Software Development

Cover art for The Nature of Software Development

The Book

AuthorRon Jeffries

Published24th February 2015

PublisherThe Pragmatic Bookshelf

Book Websitepragprog.com/book/rjnsd

Author Websiteronjeffries.com

You need to get value from your software project. You need it "free, now, and perfect." We can't get you there, but we can help you get to "cheaper, sooner, and better." This book leads you from the desire for value down to the specific activities that help good Agile projects deliver better software sooner, and at a lower cost. Using simple sketches and a few words, the author invites you to follow his path of learning and understanding from a half century of software development and from his engagement with Agile methods from their very beginning.

The Review

Date2nd August 2015


'The Nature of Software Development' is aimed at anyone who wants to get the best out of their software development process. As an experienced developer I found it an interesting read but I expect software team managers will get the most value from it.

Ron Jeffries presents some simple, but not necessarily easy, ways to think about writing software. He discusses how to organise your work, and your teams. In doing so he cuts away a lot of the chaff and ceremony that has overshadowed some Agile methodologies in recent times to draw us back to the fundamental qualities that formed the Agile Manifesto nearly 15 years ago.

The book has a strong message, yet it is a light read. Ron uses his natural and conversational language along with plenty of pictures to illustrate his teachings, which makes for a pleasantly relaxed reading experience.

Overall an enlightening read that cuts right to the meaty parts of why we write software and presents recommendations for how we organise our work and ourselves to write valuable software in an effective manner. While at times feeling like a collation of blog posts, it's a worthwhile collation that highlights the fundamentals of what Agile is intended to be. The abundance of illustration is a nice touch but does not present well in eBook format, being particularly uninspiring on the Kindle version. Nonetheless, a good read for software developers and team managers.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.