|I l @ ve RuBoard|
Until now all of the noncompilation books on Extreme Programming (XP) have come from those of us who were involved in its birth. I am very happy that my friends and former clients have written the first book from the "second generation" of XP practitioners . When I first sat down with Doug Wallace, I could see that he already knew how to apply much of XP to his problem domain. This book represents that knowledge tempered by the heat of real projects.
I have spent most of my career working on back-office projects. Because our user interface was going to be used by clerical workers, our projects didn't have to be pretty. We really didn't care what they said about the company; they only had to contribute to our customer's efficiency. Our interfaces had to present large amounts of data, so we didn't waste screen real estate on fancy graphics. We certainly didn't spend much time thinking about aesthetics. During my career, I have written ugly screens in IMS/DC, CICS, PowerBuilder, Smalltalk, and now in Java and TK.
It was a wonderful experience to work with a group whose job was caring what an interface "said." When Doug explained the process the creative group used, my first thought was, "This is already XP." It was all about simplicity, feedback, communication, and courage.
Doug Wallace, Isobel Raggett, and Joel Aufgang have written a book that applies our values to a slightly different problem space. Their team consists of not only software engineers and customers interested in functionality but marketing experts, graphic artists , writers, and copyeditors. They use pair programming to break down the walls that have traditionally separated the creative and engineering departments. They use automated testing on projects that were previously tested by eye. Finally, they use variable-scope contracts on projects that had always been done on a fixed-price basis.
As with the rest of Extreme Programming, this book represents a set of best practices that will allow a new set of developers to run with the dials turned up to ten. I think that represents a great step forward for XP and the software community.
Farmington Hills, Michigan
|I l @ ve RuBoard|