Extreme Programming requires folks to work together more closely than ever before: developers, managers, coaches, trackers, customers. While immensely valuable, the XP methodology isn’t always self-evident. People accustomed to other methodologies (or lack thereof) would really benefit from a quick, readable reference to XP: a book that can go wherever they are (for example, on site with the customer or at pair programming workstations). O’Reilly’s just delivered that book: Extreme Programming Pocket Guide.
In just over 100 pages, O’Reilly Network technical editor “Chromatic” offers quick, usable answers about every aspect of XP, for every project participant. Part I’s a quick overview for newcomers. Why bother with process? What are XP’s “values,” and why do they matter more than some generic corporate values statement? What does it mean to “assume sufficiency” -- to program as if you had enough time and resources?
Then, it’s on to the day-to-day nuts and bolts. Chromatic covers coding practices (simplicity, refactoring, standards, common vocabularies); developer practices (test-driven development, pair programming, continuous integration); and business practices (planning, regular releases, sustainable scheduling). There’s a chapter on XP iteration planning, plus handy coverage of XP’s minimal (but crucial) artifacts -- including story and task cards. New XP project participants will appreciate Chromatic’s simple explanations of their roles, as well as his quick guide to overcoming the obstacles that stand in the way of “going extreme.” Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.