XP Introduction for IT Managers

by chromatic

Related link: http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/20348.html



Joe Brockmeier has a realistic overview of Extreme Programming. Of course, he *did* interview Kent Beck and Ron Jeffries. It's nice to see a hypeless introduction to the subject. (He also interviewed yours truly, but that may have been for outrageous quotes and not deep philosophical insights. :)

Did I really use the word "magic" twice in one sentence?


3 Comments

dsteinberg
2003-01-02 14:51:15
There's no content in this article

I'm sorry, but I don't understand why you consider this to be a balanced overview. You also call it an introduction. There's no content. Could someone unfamiliar with XP come away from this article with a sense of what it's about? Could someone familiar with XP (either pro or con) come away with any new insight?. There's some talk about what XP isn't and about where it might not be suitably applied but that doesn't help us understand what it is or where it is best used.


The Jeffries and Beck quotes certainly aren't the meat of what they have to say about the subject. The comments about Rational's support is interesting, but most Java development tools have some sort of support for many of the XP practices. Many integrate JUnit (created by Beck and the GoF's Gamma who is leading much of the Eclipse effort). You'll find support for refactoring supported in tools such as JBuilder, IDEA (from IntelliJ), and Eclipse and WSAD.


Beck notes that XP is more than just a list of practices. In fact, at OOPSLA this year he and Jeffries disagreed about the importance of the practices. All in all, I've found "test first" to be the most life changing. As has been observed by many before, there is nothing new about many of the XP practices. What's new is that they are all to be done all the time -- until you know enough to modify the list for your own needs.


I don't care whether you like or dislike XP, I just don't think this article helps you understand anything about it.

chromatic
2003-01-02 17:20:21
There's no content in IT Management, either :)
I've seen a lot of breathless hype in articles aimed at IT managers with a lot less content. Granted, you'll have to follow the link to extremeprogramming.org to find out more, but there were several important facts:


- XP promotes pair programming (described)


- XP focuses on testing, teamwork, and tangible business value


- none of the practices are new, it's the combination and the uptake that are important


- it works best in projects that can be delivered in stages


- it doesn't have to be adopted all at once


- it's being adopted more fully


- it requires a long-term commitment


That's seven pretty good facts. I'd like to see fuller treatments on the subject, but I'm happy to see five hundred good words on the subject that get those details right.


You and I, we'd want to know more right away, but I think it's a decent introduction for someone in a managerial position to say "Oh, these are the goals of XP and those are some of its features." From there, he can learn more if he likes.


Thanks for the reply!

dsteinberg
2003-01-02 18:05:40
maybe 1 fact

I don't want to be argumentative but this article does not provide managers with anything of value. From their standpoint having customers drive the project would be an important point to bring up. The fact that the integration box has code that is working all the time is pretty important. The fact that acceptance tests can show the progress, that the truck number is increased because the knowledge is distributed.


Communication and feedback pervade XP. Pair programming is one of the explicit manifestations as is the planning game and test driven development.


Best, D