Book Review: eXtreme .NET

eXtreme .NET
by Dr. Neil Roodyn
Addison-Wesley, 2004
298 pages, $39.99
Code in C#
ISBN 0-321-30363-6

Subtitled "Introducing eXtreme Programming Techniques to .NET Developers," this book uses .NET examples, exercises, and discussion to make XP understandable to a .NET audience. The book is aimed at an audience reasonably familiar with C# and the .NET Framework, but it doesn't assume that you know anything about XP.

After an overview of XP, the author starts in on specific practices that he's found to work well in .NET projects: pair programming, test-driven development, problem breakdowns, refactoring, spiking, and automated builds. These are introduced slowly and carefully, with imaginary discussions from a .NET XP team, and lots of exercises for the reader to do. The whole book ends up reading like a training seminar on paper, which isn't a bad thing - though it makes the book more suitable as a learning aid than as a long-term reference.

Along the way, Roodyn uses a few of the more popular .NET tools, including NUnit and NAnt. Others, though, are barely mentioned (FxCop) or skipped entirely (CruiseControl.NET). So don't treat this book as a guide to tools, just as an example of how a process can be enhanced by proper tool use.

Developers only vaguely aware of XP will probably get a lot out of this book, and maybe even manage to convince the boss to introduce some XP projects. It would also make a great text for an XP-in-.NET course. Those with more experience will likely find it a bit elementary for their tastes.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.