Book: Extreme Programming Explained

Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change

by Kent Beck

Summary: The seminal explanation of Extreme Programming (XP), including the problems it addresses, its fundamental philosophies, and how these philosophies can be implemented in software development organization.

Intended Audience: Any and every development team member, agile or not; those who support and lead these teams

Why You Should Read It: The Agile Manifesto and its subsequent implementation has done significant things to improve the quality and timeliness of software. Extreme Programming provides an explanation of engineering practices that can be implemented to support Agile and other forms of development. It is a simple set of values, principles, and activities that work together to raise the responsibility, capability, and courage of the team. Agile and XP cannot solve all the problems that you will encounter in a project, but they can go a very long way to eliminating entire classes of problems so you can address the harder, context-specific ones. This book also discusses pitfalls to watch for and tricks to help with the implementation of XP in your environment.

My Takeaways

  • There is no substitute for solid engineering practices. Without them, even the best ideas are in danger of collapsing because of an inability to execute quickly.
  • The practices are complementary and reinforcing. You can realize gains from implementing some of them but the gains accelerate when you implement more.
  • Extreme Programming really isn’t that extreme and its strength lies in its human aspects: communication, feedback, respect, and support

Recommended?: Essential reading for the professional software development