46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
A clear and balanced treatment of XP.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change (Paperback)A few years ago, Nathaniel Borenstein wrote a fine little book called "Programming as if People Mattered", which is mostly about user interface design. It's almost a shame that the title has been used, because it's also an apt description of Kent Beck's new book. This is a development methodology that acknowledges that developers matter, and that customers matter, too. And they matter in both good and bad ways: Extreme Programming acknowledges that people have rights and strengths, but also that they have weaknesses, and it works with those weaknesses rather than against them. This is a welcome contrast to most of the mainstream software methodologies, where only the methodology seems to matter.
Beck and the other Extreme Programming advocates have been in "evangelism mode" of late, and their zeal has occasionally seemed excessive. This book, though, is well-reasoned and balanced. The limitations of XP are freely acknowledged, and Beck argues that in some cases and situations, XP is probably not appropriate. His goal, as the title states, is to explain XP, to help readers understand it so that they can decide whether it's for them. I think he succeeds completely.
For such important material, the book is light and easy to read. It's also short and direct. Spend a day or two reading this book, and then spend a week or two thinking about its recommendations in light of your current project. You owe it to all of the people associated with your project who matter.