Extreme Programming Explained – Second Edition

Having read the book on my recent vacation in Turkey, I must confess that I’m not happy with the
2nd edition of “eXtreme programming explained” by Kent Beck and Cynthia Andres.
Although it adds a lot of useful, practical insight to the ideas presented in the 1st edition, it lacks the precision, unambiguousness and purity of its predecessor.
If the book was meant as a definition and reference for XP, it failed. If it was meant as a collection of anecdotes, war stories and valuable lessons learned from applying XP in the field, then it’s a great book.
In a reference book, rules have to stated clearly, precisely, maybe even provocatively. After all, the rules are the basis of any methodology.
Applying these rules or specs in practice is a totally different stories. It requires taking into account the specific culture of a company, the boundary conditions of a given project, code base, engineering team etc. That’s why rules have to be bend and to be adjusted to a given situation. After all, they’re just rules.
But this doesn’t mean that you should dilute the specification.

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