Slightly OT: XP Programming

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I hate getting drawn in to arguments over programming methodology. It
generally turns dogmatic, and the least experienced people tend to
become the most insulting. My disdain for pretense may be partially why
I don't really have programmer friends. :-P

Recently, someone tried to give me the hard-sell on doing an XP project.
It didn't matter what the project was. He just wanted to do it XP,
because that's the "magic bullet." Incidentally, he had never written a
program before, but he was *sure* that my way of doing things was total
crap. (I've been doing things my way, professionally, for 10 years, FWIW.)

To me, XP doesn't sound like anything new at all. It sounds like one of
the oldest approaches, to any sort of project, technological or
otherwise. It's the approach where one person does all the work, while
someone sits over his shoulder, telling him what to do (often wasting a
great deal of time) and blaming him for everything that goes wrong.
There's someone to take the credit for what goes right, and someone to
get the blame for what goes wrong, and those two aren't the same people.
I hear a great deal of advocacy from management types, who want to be
the ones sitting over-the-shoulder. I haven't heard much praise from the
geek types who end up in the hot chair.

So, I'm curious... am I just a cantankerous cynic, or is XP just a slick
way of saying, "Be my micro-managed code-monkey?"

David J. Hennessy

Re: Slightly OT: XP Programming

David Hennessy wrote:
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Absolutely nothing wrong with it if you know what is involved (and it's
far more than just pairing up with another programmer) and if you know
what you are trying to achieve and you think the benefits of Extreme
Progrmamming will suit your project.

Personally, I've never been working in an enviroment where XP would
realise any benefits. But the principles of planning, customer
involvement and peer working are all sound principles.

XP and Agile Methods are somewhat trendy and so people like to pretend
to know about them, but in my somewhat-limited experience of XP, very
few people understand the techniques fully and thus don't get as much
benefit as they should.

PS If your friend has never written a program before, it is highly
unlikely that they will suit XP - yet. For example, pair programming
relies on equal input from both parties - each taking a turn to code and
each taking a turn to review - how can a novice review your work?

Re: Slightly OT: XP Programming

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XP isn't pair programming, pair programming isn't XP, and what you
describe is neither.

alt newsgroups for webmasters sound like an odd place to be looking
for advice on project team management approaches that are best suited
to larger development projects, and not desperately appropriate for
most jobbing web development (these are too small, technically
lightweight, and their difficulties are about managing their large
number of personal interactions with clients, graphic designers, back-
office order fulfillment people, marketeers etc,).

Agile in general is a good idea, but Agile is just a manifesto of
principles, not a definition of an approach.  Scrum works pretty well
in the web development context.

Re: Slightly OT: XP Programming

David Hennessy wrote:

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It's one of many newer buzz words to describe something that's been done
by many for years.  People that have no clue like to use those buzz
words because they have no real talent.

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