Tools for Agility - A White paper by Kent Beck

I as a developer (sure I am in the majority here) paid my dues with practicing waterfall and other bulky process/methodology before I stumbled on agile practices and learned by reading Kent's book on eXtreme Programming (XP). A colleague of mine introduced me to Kent Beck a little over a year ago. Kent and I have talked a lot since then over emails and phone calls and met him in April during his trip to Seattle. One of the outcomes from these conversations is a white paper that Kent wrote titled "Tools for Agility".

In this white paper, Kent Beck shares his thoughts on the relationship between tools and agile software development. Agile development seeks to increase the value of software development by increasing the feedback available to customers and developers. Some of the feedback comes from more frequent releases to production, some from more frequent testing, some from more frequent software builds, and some from social structures that encourage conversation and dialog. A decrease in cycle time implies an increase in the number of transitions between activities, though, which changes the requirements for effective development tools. Kent Beck in this paper makes the case for the appropriate use of tools (and processes) in agile development, and to look forward to the evolution of software development tools.

Many thanks go to Sam Guckenheimer for reviewing early versions of this paper and providing his feedback/comments. Sam is the group product planner for Visual Studio Team System and the author of the book "Software Engineering with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System".

I am excited to see the white paper published and happy to announce the availability of this white paper at

Download it, read it and post your comments.

Update: XPS and PDF version of this document is now available.

Happy Reading!