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Customer Review

on 17 February 2012
This book has a problem.

It is (in my opinion) the best introduction to TDD that you can get if you are starting from little or no knowledge, but if you are starting from that position you're unlikely to appreciate just how good a book it is. This I think accounts for the range of reviews that the book attracts.

When I first read this book I was very new to TDD, but I found the book very easy to read and understand (it's very clearly written). The danger in reading a book that you find easy to understand is that you can be lulled into thinking it's all stuff you already knew.

When you fall into that trap you can read paragraphs or whole chapters less attentively than you should, and you come away knowing little more than you did at the beginning, but you can get a false sense of security in your ability.

Having returned to this book recently following chats with a colleague, and armed with a few more years of experience with TDD, I really see that many of the problems I've faced with TDD were addressed in this book that I had read, but didn't appreciate, years ago.

If this book didn't do it for you on a first read, then come back to it. Even if you loved it the first time, come back to it again with some more TDD experience and you may find it's actually an even better book than you thought.

The very slow methodical approach to TDD that Beck uses in the book is deliberate, and he warns the reader that they may not like it. He also points out that he goes at that pace, not because it's the correct pace, but because at times you will need to be able to go at that pace.
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