Top 20 Best Agile Development Books, Ever

Books I recently created a Top 100 Best Software Engineering Books, Ever. I created that list using four different criteria: 1) number of Amazon reviews, 2) average Amazon rating, 3) number of Google hits and 4) Jolt awards. The nice thing about such a big list is that it enables you to extract all kinds of mini-lists out of it.


Like, for example, the Top 20 Best Agile Development Books, Ever


1: Robert C. Martin
Agile Software Development: Principles, Patterns and Practices

2: Martin Fowler
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code

3: Mike Cohn
Agile Estimating and Planning

4: Mike Cohn
User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development

5: Andrew Hunt, David Thomas
The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

6: Alistair Cockburn
Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game (2nd Edition)

7: Craig Larman
Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager’s Guide

8: Kent Beck
Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change (2nd Edition)

9: Jim Highsmith
Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products

10: Paul Duvall, etc.
Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk

11: Mary Poppendieck, Tom Poppendieck
Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit

12: Ken Schwaber
Agile Project Management with Scrum

13: Ken Schwaber, Mike Beedle
Agile Software Development with Scrum

14: Alistair Cockburn
Crystal Clear: A Human-Powered Methodology for Small Teams

15: Venkat Subramaniam, Andy Hunt
Practices of an Agile Developer: Working in the Real World

16: Kent Beck
Test Driven Development: By Example

17: Johanna Rothman
Manage It!: Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management

18: James Shore, Shane Warden
The Art of Agile Development

19: Ron Jeffries, etc.
Extreme Programming Installed

20: Esther Derby, etc.
Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great


I think it’s good to see that so many agile publications have made it onto the big list of software engineering books. Far more than any publications with “traditional” views (if there ever was such a thing).


So, if you were looking for some more interesting books on agile software development, you can stop looking for a while. These twenty are the crème de la crème!

10 thoughts on “Top 20 Best Agile Development Books, Ever”

  1. Some really good books there. We used 19 as the basis for our move to a more agile process.
    Test-driven development has been so successful for us that we’ve written a book describing our experience of using it. The book is:
    http://www.packtpub.com/java-swing-extreme-testing/book
    and in it we give a lot of practical examples for automated unit- and application-level tests. Our software is in Java, but a lot of what we’ve done can be readily applied to other languages.

    1. This kind of reply does no good whatsoever. To simply state the ranking criteria is flawed and the book list is not what it should be provides less than nothing in the way of an informed reply. What should the criteria be, and why? What is your suggestion for a top 10 or top 20 list, and why is your list any better than the ones listed in the article? How do they meet your new and improved, fair and balanced, criteria?

  2. Refactoring to Patterns, by Joshua Kerievsky, which shows a connection between software patterns and agile development.

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