Book Review: eXtreme .NET
by Dr. Neil Roodyn
298 pages, $39.99
Code in C#
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.
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.