Top 11 #Agile Books and top 3 Information Technology books

I just finished presenting at SDEC and I realized that I did not have a Blog post on my Agile reading list. Many people asked about how to get started on Agile and a list of books that influenced me. In a future post, I will list the practices that I tried first and my success with them. (Somewhat of my personal Agile roadmap)

Without further ado here are my top 11 Agile books that have influenced me and helped me to learn about Agile.

And yes, they are in order! Not in the order they have to be read, but in how much I found them valuable.

1) User Stories Applied – Mike Cohn

2) Agile Estimating and Planning – Mike Cohn

3) Innovation Games – Luke Hohmann

4) Lean Software Development – Tom and Mary Poppendieck

5) Agile Database Techniques – Scott Ambler

6) Art of Lean Software Development – Curt Hibbs

7) Lean-Agile Software Development – Allan Shalloway

8) Test Driven Development – Kent Beck

9) Lean Architecture – James O. Coplien

10) Agile Testing – Lisa Crispin

11) The Art of Agile Development – James Shore

And the top three Information Technology books that EVERYONE should read in the industry regardless of their role or methodology:

1) Code Complete – McConnell

2) Beautiful Code – Oram & Wilson

3) Godel, Escher, Bach – Hofstadter

The Godel, Escher, Bach addition might surprise some people, but it was a book that profoundly influenced me and the way I think about problems, models, and solutions. Highly recommended.


#Agile Top 9 MVPs

Recently there has been a lot of articles promoting the top Agile books to read:

Top Agile Book 2011

And there was the previous post of the top 200 Agile Bloggers

Top 200 Agile Blogs

All of these lists are great, but I wanted to publish a bit of a different list. I’ve called this list the Agile Top 9 MVPs. In this case MVP stands for Most Valuable Promoter of Agile Ideas. I follow a lot of people on Twitter and read their blogs, but there are a small number of people who consistently expose me to new ideas and make me think. For this list I’ve excluded the Web sites that gather other people’s entries and send out newsletters but don’t typically author any articles themselves. (but the line is a bit blurry I must admit)

This list was compiled over the last 6 months so it only reflects recent activity. That may be why leaders like Mike Cohn and Luke Hohmann may not appear on this list. Their promoting and introducing of many of the new ideas happened prior to the last six months.

Agile Top 9 MVPs (in no particular order)



Mike Cottmeyer

Laura Brandenburg

David j Bland

Alan Shalloway

Jim Highsmith

James Shore

Lyssa Adkins

Esther Derby

Scott Ambler

The Rationale

So how did I compose this list? It was simply the people who time and time again over Twitter, Linked-In, Facebook, Blogs, and comments expose me to new ideas and make me think. They also have a good ratio of tweets that point me to new ideas. It is great to see tweets from these 9 as they usually point you to a great article or start a good discussion on a topic. I also listed people whom I feel are balanced and diverse in their opinions. They are not ones to quickly jump on a bandwagon or also not consider a new idea. They are open to new ideas, not married to old ones, and are very well-balanced and measured in their opinions.

I have to mention a couple of my absolute favourites recently:

1) Laura Brandenburg’s Blog on topics of interest to Business Analysts is wonderful. Although I am not a Business Analyst, I find excellent information and a very lively discussion board.

2) Allan Shalloway’s Tweets and articles are excellent and he is one of the few to give Lean the attention it deserves.

3) David Bland’s Tweets are awesome and very informing. Excellent insight.

4) Esther Derby has a great diversity of opinions and articles.

5) Scott Ambler. I may not always agree with Scott initially, but more times than not, I end up learning something every single time I read some article of his…

Honourable Mentions

Although, I said I would not mention sites that comprise articles from other primarily, I can’t do it. InfoQ and AgileScout are great sources of information as I believe I read them almost daily and see tweets every day directing me to great new ideas…

Why only 9? Why for Bobby Hull of course!