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Extreme Programming Applied: Playing to Win (XP)by Ken Auer
"You're a fool to think this will ever work."
People have said that to all of us about Extreme Programming (XP). We've said it to ourselves about XP.
People told Christopher Columbus he was nuts when he wanted to sail west. People told the Pilgrims this before they got on the Mayflower. People told many of the early settlers of the American frontier the same thing.
Yet they all headed west. Why? They believed there was something better out there, and somebody had to be the first one to find out if they were right. The journey itself was treacherous for each of them. Once they got to their destination, there were more dangers. Some they suspected ahead of time. Some were total surprises. Of course, they were scared. But, as pioneers, they had no choice but to face their fears head-on. Sometimes they died. Sometimes they lived to face the next life-threatening challenge.
Stories from these brave fools made it back to the people they left behind, and then to people they didn't even know. Those who may not have been brave enough to take the first journey, or who didn't have the opportunity, were encouraged. They became the next wave of pioneers. They were better prepared than the first wave. Bravery and success (mixed with the excitement of knowing the risk they were taking) encouraged another wave. It didn't come easily, but eventually the West was settled.
We are the early pioneers. We don't have all the answers. We have celebrated some victories. We've reflected on some failures. We certainly have learned a lot. These are our letters home. We hope they will encourage the next wave to head west.
Who Should Read This Book
We wrote this book for software developers and for technical managers who are interested in Extreme Programming (XP). Perhaps they don't know how to get started or don't know how to go further than they've already gone. Our goal was to create a practical volume that would provide advice based on real-world experience.
We assume that people reading this book have either read Kent Beck's Extreme Programming Explained or have otherwise gained a general understanding of what Extreme Programming is. Kent's book is a manifesto that makes the case for XP. We accept the case as made, and we move on to helping those who want to act on it.
If you are a developer or a technical manager even mildly interested in XP, we assume you have at least one of these five burning questions:
Although we may not be able to answer all of these questions definitively for you, we hope to give you enough guidance to act immediately.
How to Read This Book
You can read this book in three different ways:
The list of pioneer stories provides a complete listing of all the stories in this book. Each story has a title that captures its primary thrust. You can read just these stories and get a feel for how to make the case for XP and how to start using it.
We embedded the stories within the chapters of the book, where we provide some context for them and some advice based on our own experiences. You can read the book from cover to cover, skipping the stories entirely (they are highlighted in the text) to get the advice in its nonillustrated form.
Perhaps the best way to read the book, though, is as a cohesive whole. The stories put the advice we're giving in the context of organizations and projects with human beings acted on by real forces. It is the next best thing to having tried XP yourself.
Ultimately, we hope you do try it yourself. Think of this book as an instruction manual for achieving the goal Kent outlined in Extreme Programming Explained.
XP on the Web
A good reference bookshelf is an invaluable tool. The Internet puts mounds of information at your fingertips, but it hides it under a lot of junk. Finding what you need can be a needle-in-a-haystack exercise.
If you want to find out more about XP and some of the things we've referred to in this book, check out our XP Portal at http://www.rolemodelsoft.com/xp. There you will find things like pointers to
We will update this portal over time.
What Our Readers Are Saying
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