Re: extreme programming overview

Subject: Re: extreme programming overview
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 13:10:57 -0800 (PST)

> 2. Extreme Programming
> Judy Glick-Smith, CIDM Associate
> judy -at- idoc-inc -dot- com
>
> The first time I heard the words
> "extreme programming," I cringed. The words
> conjure visions of barefooted programmers
> coding systems in the ultimate vacuum 24
> hours a day, 7 days a week, ordering pizza
> for every meal, with zero planning and zero
> communication with each other and customers.
> I could not have been more wrong.

I got a chuckle out of this posting. What the author doesn't realize is that a
lot of the big information technologies of the last 25 years came out of
environments like this - barefooted programmers hacking code without any
structure whatsoever.

I also got a chuckle out of this:

> *Simplicity
> Supporting current functionality only
> (vs. designing for the future) keeps the design
> simple. The person responsible for a single task
> is also responsible for estimating the time it
> will take to accomplish that task.

The idea behind simplicity is to keep the code butt-simple and not get carried
away trying to be too clever. This goal is to remind programmers not go off and
try and build something that isn't necessary. "Supporting current
functionality" is a piece of that issue and not the totality of it.

This article really isn't that good. Its a watered down, interpretation of XP.
It also treats XP like a complex, well defined process. Which it really isn't.
XP is a set of basic ideals that programmers agree to uphold. There is usually
very little defined process to XP environments.

"Extreme Programming" aims to capture some of the spirit of the "barefooted
hackers" giving it buzz-words and processes so those who need that kind of
thing can feel warm and cozy.

As for tech docs - if you understand the technologies then it really doesn't
matter what development methodology is used. Most places say they use a method,
but it usually boils down to a handful of competent programmers who do the work
while the rest babble about doing the work. Get to know the competent ones and
ignore the blathering morons.

Andrew Plato
Principal Blathering Moron


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