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The Agile Samurai: How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software


Cover image for The Agile Samurai

The Agile Samurai

How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software


Here are three simple truths about software development:

1. You can’t gather all the requirements up front.
2. The requirements you do gather will change.
3. There is always more to do than time and money will allow.

Those are the facts of life. But you can deal with those facts (and more) by becoming a fierce software-delivery professional, capable of dispatching the most dire of software projects and the toughest delivery schedules with ease and grace.

Customer Reviews

I would thoroughly recommend this book to project managers, team leaders, and developers.


This book is very well written. Rasmusson uses an entertaining writing style that makes it pleasant to read from beginning to end. What I like the most is the author experience. The way he presents the topics dealing with role assignation (chapter 2) and reality in agile planning (chapter 8) is simply remarkable.

- Computing Reviews

Jonathan Rasmusson has written a book for today that captures the excitement and value of what agile software development meant to us at the time of the Agile Manifesto. Look to the master, follow the master, walk with the master, see through the master, become the master.

- Ron Jeffries

Coauthor, "The Agile Manifesto"

Clear, well-written, and extremely useful. This book stays very focused on what matters in building a successful agile practice without being preachy or vague…I’ve read plenty of books on Agile. This one’s definitely in the top three.

- FrazzledDad

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand Agile development on a new level. Even if you already use agile development in your software design, this book will help you understand and use the tools available to you on a new level.

- designlab206 weblog

The Agile Samurai is the book I wish I’d read before I started my last agile project. The chapters on agile project inception alone are worth the price of admission.

- Joshua Kerievsky

Founder and CEO, Industrial Logic, Inc.

Maybe a few stodgy, grumpy types will turn their noses up at the fun tone. The truth is they don’t deserve a book this good.

- Ian Dees

Software Engineer

The Agile Samurai is exactly the book you and your team need to understand and deliver using the agile method. It makes the concepts tactile for everyone from the highest level of leadership to the people pushing forward on the front lines.

- Jessica Watson

Business Analyst, Shaw Communications

The Agile Samurai helps you steer an agile project from start to finish. No agile toolkit would be complete without this book.

- Wendy Lindemann

Agile Program Manager

This book was written with the insight and clarity that can only come from a person who has proved these techniques in the trenches. I have read many books on agile software development; this is by far the most engaging, easy to read, and just plain fun of them all. Get ready to sharpen that sword!

- JP Boodhoo

Founder, Develop with Passion

If you want a guide to agile projects backed by real-world success stories and battle scars, read this book. JR brings us an easy and humorous read that covers almost any question you may have on agile and how to make it work. His content is sincere, simple yet comprehensive, realistic, and honest about common pitfalls teams will likely encounter. A great read!

- Eric Liu

Lead Consultant, ThoughtWorks

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  • $25.00 In Stock
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Contents & Extracts

Full Table of Contents


  • Introducing Agile
    • Agile in a nutshell
    • Meet your agile team
  • Agile Project Inception
    • How to get everyone on the bus
    • Seeing the big picture
    • Making it real
  • Planning Agile Projects
    • Gathering user stories
    • Estimation – the fine art of guessing excerpt
    • Agile planning – dealing with reality
  • Executing Agile Projects
    • Iteration management – making it happen
    • Creating an agile communication plan
    • Creating a visible workspace excerpt
  • Creating Agile Software
    • Unit testing – knowing it works
    • Refactoring – paying down your technical debt
    • Test-Driven Development
    • Continuous integration – making it production ready
  • Appendixes
    • Agile Principles
    • Resources
    • Bibliography


As an experienced entrepreneur and former agile coach for ThoughtWorks, Jonathan Rasmusson has consulted internationally, helping others find better ways to work and play together. When not coaching his sons’ hockey teams or cycling to work in the throes of a Canadian winter, Jonathan can be found sharing his experiences with agile delivery methods at his blog,