“A book for everyone” is how I would describe this short, easy to understand and very interesting piece of work. The secret is about the “Law of Attraction”. This law states our thoughts attract everything that happens to us. The book claims that if we think positively about something with conviction and belief, that will surely happen. The universe tells us “Your wish is my command” and goes all the way to make sure we get what we think about. However, it is not so simple. The law does not understand words like “no, not” etc. and simply ignores them. For example, if we think that “I should not be late for work”, the universe understands it as “I should be late for work” and makes that happen. So if we are afraid of something that is also very likely to happen. According to the book, this is true for relationships, health and all other aspects too. For example, if we think that our relationship with someone is bad, it is very likely that it will not improve.

The book has many interesting contributions from many thinkers and highly successful people in the world. Even if one does not completely agree with the book, it is worth reading, absorbing and putting into practice as much as possible.

“Agile Estimating and Planning” is a Must-Have-Read for those interested in learning a down to earth, practical approach towards Software Estimation and Planning that actually works! The advice is meant for teams that use Agile methods such as XP and Scrum. And the bonus is that this book is really very easy to read since the flow is written in such a simple and logical manner.

The book starts from the basics, covering basic concepts such as why estimation and planning is needed, and why should we do size estimation before estimating the effort and duration for any project. It links these basic concepts to the agile approach of: Working as one team, in short iterations, delivery in each iteration, focus on business priorities, inspection & adaptation.

After covering these basics, the book goes into the details of Story Points, Ideal days, Velocity and Planning Poker estimation method. Mike Cohn also explains why estimating and tracking Story Points is better than Ideal days.

The other interesting topics of this book include Prioritisation, Release Planning Essentials, Buffering (concepts seem to be derived from Theory of Constraints), and Tracking Velocity.

The book ends with a case study on “Bomb Shelter Studios” case study, which illustrates the concepts in practice, without getting into too many details.

These are two phenomenal books by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, who is a thinker, educator, author, scientist, philosopher and business leader. Both books are in the form of business novels and lead us into a very unique Thinking process and Theory of Constraints. Goldratt keeps readers interested till the very end in both these books, by putting the lead character Alex Rogo many challenging situations. Alex Rogo uses the Thinking process and the Theory of Constraints as generic methods to solve wide range of his problems. The tools provided in these books are practical and make lot of sense. If you have not read these books yet, you are most likely missing something!