My new book, The Nature of Software Development, has been released by Pragmatic Bookshelf. Check it out!

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First of all, I must thank all the folks at The Pragmatic Bookshelf, notably my editor Michael Swain, who whipped me mercilessfully to get it done, and Dave Thomas, who went far above and beyond to make this strange book look good. And, of course, Andy Hunt, who invited me to do the book for them. And everyone.

I first saw a paper copy just before Valentine’s Day, and gave my copy to my wife as a lovely gift. She was duly appreciative as you can imagine. We also went out for dinner. But I digress.

The book looked good. Dave really broke some of the rules of publishing to get the effect I wanted, which was two-page spreads with pictures and text. We spotted a few pages that could look better, and I drew a few new pictures to fill them in. And we spotted one typo, hopefully the last.

Now it’s out there. You need one. At least I hope that you do.

What’s it about? It’s a lot like one of my conference talks with Chet Hendrickson, where we have odd pictures on the screen as we talk about something. And it’s about my overall high-level view of software development. Naturally, it has an “Agile” slant to it, since that’s where my values and inclinations lie. But it’s not about some new kind of Agile, nor some old kind.

The book starts and ends with value, describing how we can guide, organize, plan, build, divide up our work, and attain quality, with a continuing focus on value. Each little chapter discusses one of those topics, illustrated with drawings that are there to entertain and perhaps induce you to reflect on what’s being said.

Reflection is important. It’s a very simple, high level look at things. It leaves almost everything to your imagination, your thoughts, your understanding. It’s not a “how to” book, it’s a “what about this?” book.

Nature has been a long time coming, as I developed my thoughts through years of practice, teaching, learning, and Internet debate. Thanks to everyone who challenged me over the years. For more thanks, read the Acknowledgments. You’re in there, even if not mentioned by name.

If everyone within sight of my words were to buy a copy of this book, it would make this a pretty good year and encourage me to keep on keeping on. I hope you’ll consider it, and if you buy it, I hope you’ll enjoy it. I sincerely believe you’ll benefit from thinking hard about what it says, even if you disagree.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention: the pictures are in color, so you’ll benefit from a paper copy, or a color e-reader!

Thanks, everyone!