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Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change, 2nd Edition (The XP Series) 2nd Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321278654
ISBN-10: 0321278658
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"In this second edition of "Extreme Programming Explained, " Kent Beck organizes and presents five years' worth of experiences, growth, and change revolving around XP. If you are seriously interested in understanding how you and your team can start down the path of improvement with XP, you must read this book."
--Francesco Cirillo, Chief Executive Officer, XPLabs S.R.L. "The first edition of this book told us what XP was--it changed the way many of us think about software development. This second edition takes it farther and gives us a lot more of the 'why' of XP, the motivations and the principles behind the practices. This is great stuff. Armed with the 'what' and the 'why, ' we can now all set out to confidently work on the 'how': how to run our projects better, and how to get agile techniques adopted in our organizations."
--Dave Thomas, The Pragmatic Programmers LLC "This book is dynamite! It was revolutionary when it first appeared a few years ago, and this new edition is equally profound. For those who insist on cookbook checklists, there's an excellent chapter on 'primary practices, ' but I urge you to begin by truly contemplating the meaning of the opening sentence in the first chapter of Kent Beck's book: 'XP is about social change.' You should do whatever it takes to ensure that every IT professional and every IT manager--all the way up to the CIO--has a copy of "Extreme Programming Explained" on his or her desk."
--Ed Yourdon, author and consultant "XP is a powerful set of concepts for simplifying the process of software design, development, and testing. It is about minimalism and incrementalism, which are especially useful principles when tackling complex problems that require a balance of creativity and discipline."
--Michael A. Cusumano, Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management, and author of "The Business of Software" ""Extreme Programming Explained" is the work of a talented and passionate craftsman. Kent Beck has brought together a compelling collection of ideas about programming and management that deserves your full attention. My only beef is that our profession has gotten to a point where such common-sense ideas are labeled 'extreme.'..."
--Lou Mazzucchelli, Fellow, Cutter Business Technology Council"If your organization is ready for a change in the way it develops software, there's the slow incremental approach, fixing things one by one, or the fast track, jumping feet first into Extreme Programming. Do not be frightened by the name, it is not that extreme at all. It is mostly good old recipes and common sense, nicely integrated together, getting rid of all the fat that has accumulated over the years."
--Philippe Kruchten, UBC, Vancouver, British Columbia"Sometimes revolutionaries get left behind as the movement they started takes on a life of its own. In this book, Kent Beck shows that he remains ahead of the curve, leading XP to its next level. Incorporating five years of feedback, this book takes a fresh look at what it takes to develop better software in less time and for less money. There are no silver bullets here, just a set of practical principles that, when used wisely, can lead to dramatic improvements in software development productivity."
--Mary Poppendieck, author of "Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit" "Kent Beck has revised his classic book based on five more years of applying and teaching XP. He shows how the path to XP is both easy and hard: It can be started with fewer practices, and yet it challenges teams to go farther than ever."
--William Wake, independent consultant "With new insights, wisdom from experience, and clearer explanations of the art of Extreme Programming, this edition of Beck's classic will help many realize the dream of outstanding software development."
--Joshua Kerievsky, author of "Refactoring to Patterns" and Founder, Industrial Logic, Inc."XP has changed the way our industry thinks about software development. Its brilliant simplicity, focused execution, and insistence on fact-based planning over speculation have set a new standard for software delivery."
--David Trowbridge, Architect, Microsoft Corporation

Accountability. Transparency. Responsibility. These are not words that are often applied to software development.

In this completely revised introduction to Extreme Programming (XP), Kent Beck describes how to improve your software development by integrating these highly desirable concepts into your daily development process.

The first edition of "Extreme Programming Explained" is a classic. It won awards for its then-radical ideas for improving small-team development, such as having developers write automated tests for their own code and having the whole team plan weekly. Much has changed in five years. This completely rewritten second edition expands the scope of XP to teams of any size by suggesting a program of continuous improvement based on: Five core values consistent with excellence in software developmentEleven principles for putting those values into actionThirteen primary and eleven corollary practices to help you push development past its current business and technical limitations

Whether you have a small team that is already closely aligned with your customers or a large team in a gigantic or multinational organization, you will find in these pages a wealth of ideas to challenge, inspire, and encourage you and your team members to substantially improve your software development.

You will discover how to: Involve the whole team--XP styleIncrease technical collaboration through pair programming and continuous integrationReduce defects through developer testingAlign business and technical decisions through weekly and quarterly planningImprove teamwork by setting up an informative, shared workspace

You will also find many other concrete ideas for improvement, all based on a philosophy that emphasizes simultaneously increasing the humanity and effectiveness of software development.

Every team can improve. Every team can begin improving today. Improvement is possible--beyond what we can currently imagine. "Extreme Programming Explained, Second Edition, " offers ideas to fuel your improvement for years to come.

About the Author

Kent Beck consistently challenges software engineering dogma, promoting ideas like patterns, test-driven development, and Extreme Programming. Currently affiliated with Three Rivers Institute and Agitar Software, he is the author of many Addison-Wesley titles.

Cynthia Andres holds a B.S. in psychology with advanced work in organizational behavior, decision analysis, and women’s studies. She has worked with Kent on the social aspects of Extreme Programming since its inception. She is also affiliated with Three Rivers Institute.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 2nd edition (November 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321278658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321278654
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lasse Koskela on December 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
The release 1st edition of this book is still considered by many to be the kick start for the growing adoption of a software development process called Extreme Programming. After 5 years, the 2nd edition faces a much different world but also with much different content and approach. The world has learned much and so has the author. I'm glad to see that this 2nd edition reflects that development.

Beck has revised his thinking throughout the book. Some obvious examples include his current preference towards using ideal time over abstract time units in estimating, the fifth value among the initial four, the new set of principles, and the rehash of the practices.

Extreme Programming Explained is not a detailed how-to for adopting the process it describes. Actually, it doesn't really describe a process at all. What it does describe is a system of values and principles and a set of practices to support these. Even though Beck does give each practice (divided into primary and corollary practices in the 2nd edition) their share of explanation, the focus is still strongly on the "what" and "why" instead of the "how".

As someone who has read a dozen books on the topic already, I was delighted to find almost every page to provide something intriguing that either created or challenged my own thoughts. Especially the latter half of the book, dealing with topics such as TOC, scaling, Taylorism, the Toyota Production System, and the hot potato itself -- offshoring -- offered a lot to think about.

This is what a 2nd edition should be like, every single chapter reflecting new insight gathered over the years.
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Format: Paperback
When I read the first edition several years ago, my first thought was how XP needs a name change. It seems as if Beck said, "Lets take a bunch of common 'best practices', develop a methodology around performing them consistently, and then give it a name that will scare away managers".

XP is not a silver bullet, not is it 'evil'. If you develop software and you work in an environment where you always seem to struggle with issues that prevent your team from operating effectively, then this book is for you. Extreme Programming is about taking several core 'practices' and 'values', and turning that into a methodology - perhaps even a philosophy - of software development, team interaction, and process improvement. I don't care if you end up falling in love with XP or if you end up following RUP, CMMi or some other improvement framework, reading this book is an excellent first start to pull yourself out of the doldrums that most software development shops operate in.

Yes, I am a fan of XP and this book. I think the first edition was better. This book seems to digress a lot into touchy-feely subjects, rather than staying on the subject of software development (for example, there are a few pages about personal relationships in the workplace, including dealing with issues that cross the line into HR management - not appropriate for a book that is supposed to be about XP). Beck also seems to flip-flop between describing XP as a solid methodology and a loose collection of his own ideas. I think that XP would greatly improve if it grew up and formalized itself a little better... XP should not be defined with the primary author's telling of anecdotal stories, as appear in this book.

Read it with a pragmatic eye, and figure out what is relevant to your situation. Trying to apply these (or any) ideas dogmatically will probably solve some issues while creating far worse ones.
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Format: Paperback
I have been using Agile programming methods for some time, so I decided to find a book to describe the details of Extreme programming. Extreme programming is an important variant of Agile programming so it is worth studying in more detail.

I bought this book with the expectation that it would be a serious description of how to apply extreme programming and how it relates to other methods. No such luck. The book does explain practices and philosophies, but is primarily an emotional pep talk in favor of Extreme programming. This is to much "Zen" for me. And it seems that the pep talks mostly compared it to the trational waterfall model. In this comparison it is no wonder that extreme programming seems so good. But the book gives seriouos indication of why this method is best; as it claims it is.

So overall, it is an adequate book that does fairly good job presenting what extreme programming is all about but it could have been so much better.

Whatever you do, don't read this book as your first book on software engineering. For that purpose I recommend Steve McConell: Rapid Development. Reading books on agile development should happen after that - otherwise it might be hard to see things in the right perspective.
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In Kent Beck's first edition he articulated a manifesto for lightweight methodologies. These methods today are referred to as Agile Methodologies; which Extreme Programming is only one.

The Second Edition builds on the first edition but has a distinctly different tone. In the first book XP was a described as 12 practices that may or may not have been new but the aggregation of the 12 brought together something that as whole changed the way many people wrote software. In this book more emphasis is placed on the whys behind the practices which include values and principals. For example, here is a quote from the book, "Values bring purpose to practices". Kent goes on to say that if he told you to follow practices blindly some people would but most people want to know why you might do a practice. Here is where the values and principals come in to give you the reasoning why a practice is useful. Overall given the renewed emphasis on values, principals, and practices I thought the book itself was much more approachable than the first edition which hopefully will encourage the people who had been on the fence to try out the practices on their next project.
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