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Related Topics: RIA Developer's Journal, Agile Software Development, Microsoft Developer

Book Review

Agile Software Engineering with Visual Studio

From concept to continuous feedback

I own the first version of this book and was looking forward to the second version. I would say if you want to get familiar with doing Scrum with TFS this is the book you want. It really does not cover the other templates at all. I am not saying that is bad, but it is not what I expected or wanted. I already have read enough on Scrum to last me a lifetime. I wanted to see more on the other templates.

All that said, if you have not had the opportunity to get familiar with Scrum this is a great place to get started, especially if you use TFS.

The book starts out with an introduction to agile, Scrum, and Visual Studio. It then digs into Scrum and TFS with chapters on Product Ownership, Running the Sprint, Architecture, Development, Build and Lab, Test, Lessons Learned at Microsoft Developer Division, and Continuous Feedback.

My favorite chapters were Development, Build and Lab, and Test. The author did a great job of showing all the different features available in TFS and Visual Studio that enable continuous integration, automating testing, and detecting programming errors early. The chapters go into enough detail to give you a really good understanding of the tools available and when to use them.

The architecture chapter did a good job of showing how to take advantage of the tools in Visual Studio for reverse engineering existing applications. It does not however show you how to use them to architect an application. Instead the author plays the "Emerging Architecture" trump card, and writes it off to it not being needed in agile processes. I guess this is ok, because the tools in Visual Studio are not ready for prime time when it comes to designing an Architecture. They are good for reverse engineering an application. I wholly disagree with the "Emerging Architecture" agile approach and believe it contributes to most of the messes that come out of teams claiming to be agile, but I won't ding the book for it since it is after all what agile prescribes.

One thing I noticed is there are quite a few typos. They are no big deal, just very obvious ones which was strange.

Personally I think the book should have been titled "Developing with Visual Studio and TFS using the Scrum Template". That is not a bad thing if that is what you want. The book is well written and an easy read. I think is does what it set out to do and it does it well. It is a top notch book.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn Scrum and wants to use the TFS toolset to enable your team to accomplish your mission.

Agile Software Engineering with Visual Studio: From Concept to Continuous Feedback (2nd Edition) (Microsoft .NET Development Series)

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.