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Extreme Programming Explored (XP)by William C Wake
Extreme Programming (XP) defines a process for developing software: it addresses the problem from early exploration through multiple deliveries. We'll explore XP from the inside to the outside.
First, XP is a programming discipline. We'll look at a core innovation: how "test-first" changes the programming process itself. We'll also discuss refactoring--the way XP programmers improve their code.
Second, XP is a team discipline that has developed practices that help produce a high-performing team. We'll compare XP to alternative practices and see XP's team practices in action.
Finally, XP is a discipline for working with customers. XP has specific processes for planning and daily activity. We'll see how a team might schedule a release or iteration and what the team does all day.
Why Read This Book?
If you've heard anything about XP, you probably have had questions about the mechanics or the purposes of various aspects of XP. I've tried to capture the questions I've had, along with answers I've found.
Several things about XP were surprises to me, particularly the tight cycle of test-first programming (only a couple minutes long), the use of a metaphor, and the starkness of the division of labor between customer and programmer. We'll look at these and many other topics.
You, the reader, may have several areas of interest that bring you to this book:
Who Is the Author? Why This Book?
I'm "just a programmer," with about 15 years of experience, about half in compiler development and the rest in library, telecom, and financial services.
I attended the first XP Immersion class in December 1999. Although I had read Extreme Programming Explained, and much of the XP material on the Web, I was surprised by how test-first programming really worked (a much quicker cycle than I'd expected).
The question of testing user interfaces came up in the class; Kent Beck said he didn't usually develop user interfaces test-first, but asked, "Could you?" That inspired me to write an essay on the topic.
I write to learn, so as I explored various XP topics, I wrote a series of articles I called "XPlorations" and made them available on the Web. With the encouragement of my peers, I've adapted some of those essays for this book in order to give a coherent view of the issues surrounding XP.
What Is the Philosophy of This Book?
Be concrete. Use real (or at least realistic) examples. When code appears, it is Java code.
Answer questions. Because most of the chapters originally were written as essays for myself as I learned or taught others, each chapter begins with a question and a short answer. Many chapters include a Q&A (question and answer) section as well.
Be focused. Make each chapter focus on one topic. Tie it to other chapters where possible.
Be precise but informal. I use "I," "we," and "you" a lot. For the most part, "you" is addressed to a programmer, but, in some sections, the word may be addressed to managers or customers.
Bring experiences to bear. I relate this material to real experiences.
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