REVIEW - Extreme Programming Examined


Extreme Programming Examined


Giancarlo Succi, Michele Marchesi



Addison-Wesley Professional (2001)




Francis Glassborow


June 2001



an interesting book that again challenged me to think about the way I see software being developed

Are you interested in XP? I mean Extreme Programming, not the latest manifestation of broken software from a well-known supplier (I think they should be taken to task for stealing 'XP' when it already has a specific meaning in the software industry). I do not mean do you practice it because it is not an appropriate methodology for all, but do you have an open enough mind to spend a little time finding out about this methodology that was launched on the world a few years ago by Kent Beck.

Personally I think good developers should keep open minds even if they are relatively happy with what they are currently doing. In June 2000 a number of people who agree gathered at a conference in Italy (Conference on Extreme Programming and Flexible Processes in Software Engineering) and shared a range of insights. This book consist of 33 of the papers that were presented at that event. It would be very easy for such a book to be a collection of material written in a stilted, sleep enhancing, style that is so beloved of academics. Fortunately most of the contributors are still too enthusiastic to let convention get in the way. The result is a book of 33 papers that are certainly worth browsing even if you do not read it cover to cover. At times your blood pressure will rise, and you will feel like screaming that it is not like that. Good, think about it, try to understand what is being said and perhaps you will decide that you really are right. However you will have the advantage of doing things your way through choice rather than through ignorance.

I found this an interesting book that again challenged me to think about the way I see software being developed. I think you might find the same. And among the pages of the book you will find at least one ACCU member.

However I have one serious reservation about this book, in common with many other published conference proceedings, it is very expensive. While many conferences are about very specialist subjects where potential sales are small and not price sensitive, this is not the case here (and often isn't when the conference subject concerns practical issues of software development rather than purely academic matters)

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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