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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Extreme Programming Perspectives
Michelle Marchesi et al
0 201 77005 9
Rob Hughes
Appeared in:
This book is a collection of short papers by diverse authors on a wide range of XP subjects and Agile Methods (AM) in general. This style of book can prove difficult, with a lack of continuity and no clear writing style to aid flow. This book manages to avoid these problems; each paper is short, often less than ten pages and it is clear that significant effort has been put into ensuring writing styles are similar. I wonder if this is just a fortuitous and/or clever decision by the authors, or perhaps reflects a general mindset of those deeply involved with AMs.

The ideas covered are extremely broad. Some of the papers are technical and describe particular aspects of XP, others advise how to go about switching to an AM, yet others describe real-world experiences of using AMs. I found it very easy to read, enjoyed being able to dip into articles that took my interest and found that complex areas were well covered despite the brevity of the articles.

My only real concern with the book is with regard to its intended audience, which would seem quite limited. This is an excellent way to get an overview of AMs if you don't already know much about them; to anyone who is interested in getting into the meat of XP, I suspect that other books are a better bet. Unfortunately I also suspect the already limited audience may also find the price off-putting; I don't see many people splashing out the kind of money asked for just out of general interest and for a nice read.