If you have not already read the philosophies of 37Signals’ development, it is time well spent. You can read Getting Real on-line. It overviews the software development ideas that created such programs such as Ruby on Rails and Basecamp. Using simple language and numerous case studies, they layout understanding that agile advocates should have as background. Here’s a teaser from their introduction:
Want to build a successful web app? Then it’s time to Get Real. Getting Real is a smaller, faster, better way to build software.
· Getting Real is about skipping all the stuff that represents real (charts, graphs, boxes, arrows, schematics, wireframes, etc.) and actually building the real thing.
· Getting real is less. Less mass, less software, less features, less paperwork, less of everything that’s not essential (and most of what you think is essential actually isn’t).
· Getting Real is staying small and being agile.
· Getting Real starts with the interface, the real screens that people are going to use. It begins with what the customer actually experiences and builds backwards from there. This lets you get the interface right before you get the software wrong.
· Getting Real is about iterations and lowering the cost of change. Getting Real is all about launching, tweaking, and constantly improving which makes it a perfect approach for web-based software.
· Getting Real delivers just what customers need and eliminates anything they don’t.
Getting Real delivers better results because it forces you to deal with the actual problems you’re trying to solve instead of your ideas about those problems. It forces you to deal with reality.
More information and downloadable samples are available from their blog.