Book Review: Pragmatic Project Automation

A bit late, but I realized after I posted the Recommended Reading List that I forgot to add Mike Clark's Pragmatic Project Automation, a great resource for ideas on how to automate various parts of your build cycle... and, more importantly, why this is such a necessary step. Although nominally a Java book, there's really nothing in here that couldn't also be adopted to a .NET environment, particularly now that $g(NAnt) and $g(MSBuild) are prevalent in .NET development shops all over the planet.

Most importantly, Mike indirectly points out a great lesson when he uses $g(Groovy) to script $g(Ant) builds: that you don't have to stick with just the tools that are given to you. Automation can take place in a variety of ways, and scripting languages (like Groovy, or Ruby, or Python...) are a great way to drive lower-level tools like Ant. Stu Halloway has begun talking about the same concept when he discusses "Unit Testing with Jython" at the $NFJS shows. Coming from the .NET space? Then think about $g(IronPython), or even the JScript implementation that comes out of the box with Visual Studio.

All in all, a highly-recommended read.