Book of the week: Learn X-Code Tools for Mac OS X and iPhone Development

Second book of the week:

Learn X-Code Tools for Mac OS X and iPhone Development

by Ian Piper Apress © 2009 (345 pages) Citation

ISBN:9781430272212

“Examining the complete Apple programming environment for both Mac OS X and iPhone, this book offers a thorough grounding in the principal and supporting tools and technologies that make up the Xcode Developer Tools suite.”

In preparation for sprint 1 of our agile project I looked for books to warm up before coding. I think in Agile they call it a “spike” when you are not sure how much effort (estimation) will take to build a piece of the code… well in this case I’m not sure at all as this will be my first application for iOS, thus I will be doing a lot of “spikes”.

I’m a .NET developer and very comfortable using Visual Studio 2010, going to a different tool was a bit harder than I thought, I’m glad I picked this book because it has a lot of examples step by step, from a novice level like me to a medium level in the last sections of the book.

I was able to do comparisons between  the tool I use every day [VS2010] and the tool I will use in my free time [XCode] => where are the tools, how to debug, version control, unit test, performance metrics and so on.

A good guide for a beginner (like me)

Book of the week: User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development

Last week I read 2 books in preparation for the Agile personal project.

User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development

by Mike Cohn
Addison-Wesley Professional © 2004 (304 pages) Citation
ISBN:9780321205681

“The concept of user stories has its roots as one of the main tenets of Extreme Programming. In simple terms, user stories represent an effective means of gathering requirements from the customer (roughly akin to use cases). This book describes user stories and demonstrates how they can be used to properly plan, manage, and test software development projects. The book highlights both successful and unsuccessful implementations of the concept, and provides sets of questions and exercises that drive home its main points. After absorbing the lessons in this book, readers will be able to introduce user stories in their organizations as an effective means of determining precisely what is required of a software application.”

This book was my homework for last week, Rafael recommended this one as a classic. I got the Kindle version so it’s not the 2004 but a 13th reprint from 2009.

First part I really liked the way author explains how to write user stories being very clear what is not a user story.

Second part can be used by a project manager/scrum master for estimations and planning, while reading this section I was taking a look to the agile project management site Acunote and everything started to make more sense, the story points, priorities, velocity, etc.

Last part is full of tips, I tried to follow the example overlapping it with a project where I’m just an observer, and I think I found more than one case where I noticed we are doing something wrong.

Definitely a 5 stars book, easy to read and good use of samples.

Book of the week: Illustrated WPF

I try to read one book every week, to keep in target for this goal I will do my “post once a week” challenge based on this and keep the Civilization 5 achievements for my “post once a day” challenge.

This week book review:

Illustrated WPF

by Daniel Solis
Apress © 2009 (530 pages) Citation
ISBN:9781430219101
“Presenting a concise but thorough, visual presentation of WPF, this book demonstrates new concepts for laying out pages and displaying graphics in a way that makes them easier to understand and retain.”

I enjoyed reading the book, it really has a lot of illustrations, author mention in the book that is for intermediate to advanced level but I think is more beginners-intermediate. First half of the book introduce to foundation concepts of WPF, clear and very visual.

Second half of the book talks about more advanced concepts, like graphics, animation and audio video.

Exercises are simple to follow and to reproduce and there is not a big singe application used through all chapters which is good if you are looking for “recipes” to solve particular problem.

I will keep if for future references.