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Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace…

Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change

by Kent Beck

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Very timely in the early 2000s. Fights the bureaucracy of the methodologies of the "3 amigos" - Booch, Rumbaugh and Jacobsen - which became the Unified Process (RUP). ( )
  steshaw | Dec 29, 2016 |
If you want to learn the principles of XP, this is THE book. If you want to learn the practice of XP, there are better alternatives.

The ideas and motivation of XP are explained clearly and concisely. It's a short read, but fairly convincing. However, if you learn better from examples, this book does not have enough real world stories to really see XP in action.

The book is full of great quotes:

XP is a lightweight methodology for small-to-medium-sized teams developing software in the face of vague or rapidly changing requirements.

Everything in software changes. The requirements change. The design changes. The business changes. The technology changes. The team changes. The team members change. The problem isn't change, because change is going to happen; the problem, rather, is our inability to cope with change.

No book of gardening, however complete, makes you a gardener. First you have to garden, then join the community of gardeners, then teach others to garden. Then you are a garden

As Will Rogers said, “It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know that ain't so.”

If members of a team don't care about each other and what they are doing, XP won't work. If members of a team don't care about a project, nothing can save it.

In software development, “perfect” is a verb, not an adjective.

Quality isn't a purely economic factor. People need to do work they are proud of.

Automatically build the whole system and run all of the tests in ten minutes. A build that takes longer than ten minutes will be used much less often, missing the opportunity for feedback. A shorter build doesn't give you time to drink your coffee.

Put new software into production every night. Any gap between what is on a programmer's desk and what is in production is a risk. A programmer out of sync with the deployed software risks making decisions without getting accurate feedback about those decisions.

Silence is the sound of risk piling up.

He picked a powerful metaphor for his teaching, Scientific Management. When picking descriptive names, it helps to pick a name whose opposite is unappealing. Who could possibly be for “unscientific” management?

Having a separate quality department sends the message that quality is exactly as important to engineering as marketing or sales. No one in engineering is responsible for quality.
( )
  brikis98 | Nov 11, 2015 |
This is an odd book. It is propaganda for a now popular software development method, but its strongest arguments have nothing to do with productivity or cost savings. Instead, they appeal to the personal integrity of software professionals: they are about identifying the values one upholds and, if they match those of Beck's Extreme Programming, to use his practices as a means to satisfying them.

The second edition of this book is more mature than the first. Beck doesn't talk as much about "cranking the dials up to 10" and he is far less dogmatic, and far more reflexive, about the right way to develop software. At some points (in particular with some of the corollary practices he proposes) the arguments are thin and too reliant on anecdotal evidence. But still, this is a great book, and I welcome the emphasis on values, on the humanity of software development, on communication, on professional commitment to work well done. It is refreshing to read not only that developers are not cogs in a machine, but that this is the essential insight of responsible software practice and needs to be taken to its extreme consequences. ( )
  jorgearanda | Dec 11, 2009 |
I've been a programmer for over 10 years now, but somehow I haven't had to do too much collaboration on a project...

I suspect it has something to do with the fact that the only language I'm comfortable to collaborate in (Perl) isn't one that most folks collaborate in..

Anyway, I'd like to try Pair-programming with one of the '100 times more productive' programmers that the experts say are out there... ( )
  dvf1976 | Apr 24, 2008 |
This is an excellent introduction to the whole field of Agile methodologies in general and Extreme programming in particular. ( )
  gingermumbly | Apr 5, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0201616416, Paperback)

Kent Beck's eXtreme Programming eXplained provides an intriguing high-level overview of the author's Extreme Programming (XP) software development methodology. Written for IS managers, project leaders, or programmers, this guide provides a glimpse at the principles behind XP and its potential advantages for small- to mid-size software development teams.

The book intends to describe what XP is, its guiding principles, and how it works. Simply written, the book avoids case studies and concrete details in demonstrating the efficacy of XP. Instead, it demonstrates how XP relies on simplicity, unit testing, programming in pairs, communal ownership of code, and customer input on software to motivate code improvement during the development process. As the author notes, these principles are not new, but when they're combined their synergy fosters a new and arguably better way to build and maintain software. Throughout the book, the author presents and explains these principles, such as "rapid feedback" and "play to win," which form the basis of XP.

Generally speaking, XP changes the way programmers work. The book is good at delineating new roles for programmers and managers who Beck calls "coaches." The most striking characteristic of XP is that programmers work in pairs, and that testing is an intrinsic part of the coding process. In a later section, the author even shows where XP works and where it doesn't and offers suggestions for migrating teams and organizations over to the XP process.

In the afterword, the author recounts the experiences that led him to develop and refine XP, an insightful section that should inspire any organization to adopt XP. This book serves as a useful introduction to the philosophy and practice of XP for the manager or programmer who wants a potentially better way to build software. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Extreme Programming (XP) software methodology, principles, XP team roles, facilities design, testing, refactoring, the XP software lifecycle, and adopting XP.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Extreme Programming (XP) was conceived and developed to address the specific needs of software development conducted by small teams in the face of vague and changing requirements. This new lightweight methodology challenges many conventional tenets, including the long-held assumption that the cost of changing a piece of software necessarily rises dramatically over the course of time. XP recognizes that projects have to work to achieve this reduction in cost and exploit the savings once they have been earned." "You may love XP or you may hate it, but Extreme Programming Explained will force you to take a fresh look at how you develop software."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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