June 24, 2001

Planning Extreme Programming

Planning Extreme Programming
Kent Beck and Martin Fowler

A sequel to Beck's earlier (and more important) Extreme Programming Explained, an interesting approach to managing software development. Software management is notoriously hard to control; people want to believe it's like planning a magazine or an office building, but it's often much closer to scientific research.

Extreme Programming's core idea -- that trying to specify everything in advance is actually more expensive than leaping right in -- is heresy of the most delightful sort, turning a common vice into a virtue. Better still, we now understand why the vice was always so alluring; at times, coding before planning lets you build now what must be built, while buying a future option on what you think you'll need later.

This is going to be one of the most widely-discussed software books of recent years. ... Adopt the new methodologies (like new medicines) quickly, while they still work.... (read the rest of last year's review)