“Extreme Programming Applied” book review

Extreme Programming Applied
  • Title: Extreme Programming Applied: Playing to Win
  • Authors: Ken Auer, Roy Miller (Foreword by Ward Cunningham)
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley
  • Print Date: October, 2001
  • ISBN: 0201616408
  • Currently £20.29 at amazon (full disclosure: purchasing this book via either of the above links will help pay for workingwith.me.uk’s hosting fees.

When I bought this book back in September as a compulsory text for one of my modules I must admit that I wasn’t expecting too much. In my ten or so years of reading computer related textbooks I’ve never actually managed to read one cover to cover, and I certainly wasn’t expecting that to change with this one. Well, we’re all wrong sometimes, aren’t we?

Extreme Programming consists primarily of a set of twelve practices to be followed. While some of them - like “use a standard coding practice” and “refactor your code so that it is more easily understood” - are pretty much common sense, others - like “always pair program” - aren’t. Extreme Programming Applies begins with a short overview of what Extreme Programming is, before going on to cover how to use it. The practicality of the book is refreshing, and the peppering of anecdotal “Pioneer Stories” throughout the book breaks the content up into easily digestible portions.

My only complaint about the book is that it does get quite preachy from time to time. Although it doesn’t go so far as to say “Extreme Programming Good, Other Methodologies Bad”, there are several occasions when it gets pretty close. Extreme Programming isn’t right for every job, but there are plenty of ideas that can be pulled from it that are.

Extreme Programming Applied is a cracking read. It’s written in a very amiable style, and it really pushes you through from chapter to chapter. I’m amazed that I’ve finally bought a text book and read it from cover to cover! If you have an interest in Extreme Programming and how it actually works, then this book is a very easy to read introduction to its practicalities. If you don’t really know anything about Extreme Programming but you’d like to know more, then Extreme Programming Explained might be a more suitable book for you.

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  1. by John Beisley on February 18, 2006 09:03 PM

    Nice to know that it meets with your approval, I bought it on a whim at the beginning of the year, meaning to read about this XP stuff once and for all. Unfortunately it’s just been sitting there on my bookshelf while I do other things :(

  2. by Neil Crosby [TypeKey Profile Page] on February 18, 2006 10:42 PM

    It’s definitely worth reading. It’s not a difficult read either - frankly, with everything else you’re having to read and write at the moment, you’d probably find it very light and relaxing!

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