Top 100 Agile Books

Note: this is an old list. Go here for the Top 100 Agile Books 2013.

I thought it was time for a new book list, and it seemed only obvious to publish this list of 100 best books for agile software development while I attended the big Agile2010 conference in Orlando.

I created this list in the following way:

  • I took pictures of all the books being sold at the conference;
  • For the many agile books among them, I used the “people-who-bought-this-book-also-bought-these-other-books” feature on Amazon, in order to find even more agile books;
  • For all the books I found (more than 100) I looked up the ratings from both Amazon and GoodReads, and the dates they were first published;
  • I created an intricate formula representing the levels of popularity (number of ratings), quality (average ratings) and nudity (just kidding);
  • And I weakly penalized books for their age, to make sure that the oldies didn’t take up all the top positions, simply because they’ve been around longer.

I’m sure my method is flawed, and could be significantly improved. If I only had extra time, instead of a normal life. So if you think you can do better, I will look forward to your improved version. 😉

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Enjoy the list…

NR Title Author(s) Year
1 Agile Estimating and Planning Mike Cohn 2005
2 Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship Robert C. Martin 2008
3 Working Effectively with Legacy Code Michael Feathers 2004
4 Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code Martin Fowler, et al. 1999
5 The Art of Unit Testing: With Examples in .Net Roy Osherove 2009
6 Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices Robert C. Martin 2002
7 The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master Andrew Hunt, David Thomas 1999
8 Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business David J. Anderson 2010
9 Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum Mike Cohn 2009
10 Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests Steve Freeman, Nat Pryce 2009
11 User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development Mike Cohn 2004
12 Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit Mary Poppendieck, Tom Poppendieck 2003
13 Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software Eric Evans 2003
14 The Art of Agile Development James Shore, Shane Warden 2007
15 Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management Scott Berkun 2008
16 Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C# Robert C. Martin, Micah Martin 2006
17 Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams Lisa Crispin, Janet Gregory 2009
18 Practices of an Agile Developer: Working in the Real World Venkat Subramaniam, Andy Hunt 2005
19 Behind Closed Doors Johanna Rothman, Esther Derby 2005
20 Applied Software Project Management Andrew Stellman, Jennifer Greene 2005
21 Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products (1st+2nd Edition) Jim Highsmith 2009
22 xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code Gerard Meszaros 2007
23 Scrum and XP from the Trenches Henrik Kniberg 2007
24 Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash Mary Poppendieck, Tom Poppendieck 2006
25 Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager’s Guide Craig Larman 2003
26 Writing Effective Use Cases Alistair Cockburn 2000
27 Refactoring to Patterns Joshua Kerievsky 2004
28 Agile Coaching Rachel Davies, Liz Sedley 2009
29 Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great Esther Derby, Diana Larsen 2006
30 Agile Adoption Patterns: A Roadmap to Organizational Succes Amr Elssamadisy 2008
31 Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects Johanna Rothman 2009
32 The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development Donald G. Reinertsen 2009
33 Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Large Enterprises Dean Leffingwell 2007
34 Crystal Clear: A Human-Powered Methodology for Small Teams Alistair Cockburn 2004
35 Requirements by Collaboration Ellen Gottesdiener 2002
36 Agile Software Development with Scrum Ken Schwaber, Mike Beedle 2001
37 The Productive Programmer Neal Ford 2008
38 Organizational Patterns of Agile Software Development James O. Coplien, Neil B. Harrison 2004
39 Agile Project Management with Scrum Ken Schwaber 2004
40 Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change (1st+2nd Edition) Kent Beck, Cynthia Andres 1999
41 Managing the Design Factory Donald G. Reinertsen 1997
42 Manage It!: Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management Johanna Rothman 2007
43 Leading Lean Software Development: Results Are not the Point Mary Poppendieck, Tom Poppendieck 2009
44 Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Large, Multisite, and Offshore Product Development with Large-Scale Scrum Craig Larman, Bas Vodde 2009
45 Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum Craig Larman, Bas Vodde 2008
46 Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game (1st+2nd Edition) Alistair Cockburn 2001
47 Test Driven Development: By Example Kent Beck 2002
48 Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk Paul M. Duvall, Steve Matyas, Andrew Glover 2007
49 Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders Jean Tabaka 2006
50 Changing Software Development: Learning to Become Agile Allan Kelly 2008
51 Ship it! A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects Jared Richardson, William A. Gwaltney 2005
52 Agility and Discipline Made Easy: Practices from OpenUP and RUP Per Kroll, Bruce MacIsaac 2006
53 Refactoring Databases: Evolutionary Database Design Scott W. Ambler, Pramodkumar J. Sadalage 2006
54 Managing Agile Projects Kevin J. Aguanno 2005
55 Beyond Software Architecture: Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions Luke Hohmann 2003
56 Beautiful Teams: Inspiring and Cautionary Tales from Veteran Team Leaders Andrew Stellman, Jennifer Greene 2009
57 Beautiful Testing: Leading Professionals Reveal How They Improve Software Adam Goucher, Tim Riley 2009
58 Managing Agile Projects Sanjiv Augustine 2005
59 Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver, James R. Trott 2009
60 Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love Roman Pichler 2010
61 Implementation Patterns Kent Beck 2006
62 Extreme Programming Installed Ron Jeffries, Ann Anderson, Chet Hendrickson 2000
63 Agile Excellence for Product Managers: A Guide to Creating Winning Products with Agile Development Teams Greg Cohen 2010
64 Balancing Agility and Discipline: A Guide for the Perplexed Barry Boehm, Richard Turner 2003
65 Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme Robert K. Wysocki 2003
66 Emergent Design: The Evolutionary Nature of Professional Software Development Scott L. Bain 2008
67 Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas Mary Lynn Manns, Linda Rising 2004
68 Stand Back and Deliver: Accelerating Business Agility Pollyanna Pixton, Niel Nickolaisen, Todd Little, Kent McDonald 2009
69 A Tale of Two Systems: Lean and Agile Software Development for Business Leaders Michael K. Levine 2009
70 Just Enough Requirements Management: Where Software Development Meets Marketing Alan Mark Davis 2005
71 Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition Lyssa Adkins 2010
72 Growing Software: Proven Strategies for Managing Software Engineers Louis Testa 2009
73 Becoming Agile: …in an Imperfect World Greg Smith, Ahmed Sidky 2008
74 Agile Game Development with Scrum Clinton Keith 2010
75 Test Driven: TDD and Acceptance TDD for Java Developers Lasse Koskela 2007
76 The Business Value of Agile Software Methods: Maximizing Roi With Just-in-time Processes and Documentation David F. Rico, Hasan H. Sayani, Saya Sone 2009
77 A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum Elizabeth Woodward, Steffan Surdek, Matthew Ganis 2010
78 Principles of Software Development Leadership: Applying Project Management Principles to Agile Software Development Ken Whitaker 2009
79 Patterns of Agile Practice Adoption Amr Elssamadisy 2007
80 Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play Luke Hohmann 2006
81 Agile Management for Software Engineering: Applying the Theory of Constraints for Business Results David J. Anderson 2003
82 Project Management the Agile Way: Making It Work in the Enterprise John C. Goodpasture 2009
83 The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility Michele Sliger, Stacia Broderick 2008
84 Business Agility: Sustainable Prosperity in a Relentlessly Competitive World Michael H. Hugos 2009
85 The Enterprise Unified Process: Extending the Rational Unified Process Scott W. Ambler, John Nalbone, Michael J. Vizdos 2005
86 Kanban and Scrum – Making the Most of Both Henrik Kniberg, Mattias Skarin 2010
87 Agile Software Development: Best Practices for Large Software Development Projects Thomas Stober, Uwe Hansmann 2009
88 Bridging the Communication Gap: Specification by Example and Agile Acceptance Testing Gojko Adzic 2009
89 Software Endgames: Eliminating Defects, Controlling Change, And The Countdown To On-time Delivery Robert Galen 2004
90 Agile Modeling: Effective Practices for eXtreme Programming and the Unified Process Scott Ambler 2002
91 Agile Software Development Ecosystems Jim Highsmith 2002
92 Software by Numbers: Low-Risk, High-Return Development Mark Denne, Jane Cleland-Huang 2003
93 Scrumban – Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development Corey Ladas 2008
94 The Enterprise and Scrum Ken Schwaber 2007
95 Test-Driven Development: A Practical Guide David Astels 2003
96 Adapting Configuration Management for Agile Teams: Balancing Sustainability and Speed Mario E. Moreira 2009
97 Testing Extreme Programming Lisa Crispin, Tip House 2002
98 Patterns for Effective Use Cases Steve Adolph, Paul Bramble 2002
99 Real-Time Agility: The Harmony/ESW Method for Real-Time and Embedded Systems Development Bruce Powel Douglass 2009
100 Adaptive Software Development: A Collaborative Approach to Managing Complex Systems Jim Highsmith 1999


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  • Phil Green

    Nice work!

  • Matt Ganis

    Thanks for listing our book: “A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum”. I am interested in hearing what people think about it. It was a fairly large community effort inside IBM – while I don’t think we’d say we “know it all” – I can say definitely say we know alot about working as distributed teams 😉 About 60 IBM’ers from around the world contributed their thoughts and ideas (and solutions) to the text – hopefully others find it useful. By the way, one “plug” – all of the proceeds are going to charity (specifically the Alzheimer’s association and the Children’s hunger fund).
    Matt Ganis

  • Matthew T. Grant

    Thanks for assembling this exhaustive (and potentially exhausting!) list. While the idea of trying to read all these books scares me, it seems like you’ve put together a great, virtual Agile bookshelf from which people can draw what they need.
    As the other commenter said, “Nice work”

  • Mika Ahopelto

    Thanks for updating the list. It has been such a valuable resource for me.

  • J. B. Rainsberger

    I have only one response: 🙁

  • David Dossot

    Consider adding SDLC 3.0, as it brings an essential and rational view on Agile and how to move towards a unification of the different Agile practices:

  • John

    Glaring omission: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture, by Fowler. It should be Top 10, if not Top 5.

  • YvesHanoulle

    Hello Jurgen,
    As you know I asked a lot of people during Agile 2010 for a book and came up with a (smaller) list of interesting books:

  • Yves Hanoulle

    I created another list of non-IT books I think are wurthwhile reading.

  • Ivaylo Sakelariev

    Hello Jurgen, thank you for the comprehensive list you created. I would add two wonderful books here – “The Scrumban [R]Evolution” by Ajay Reddy and “Personal Kanban” by Jim Benson & Tonianne DeMaria Barry.

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