Where is XP working?

Where is XP working?

Post by Keith Ra » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 10:50:15





> Earler this week I posted the following question to
> comp.object, unaware that comp.software.extreme-programming
> existed. I am reposting it here to hear from XP'ers about
> where the methodology has succeeded.

> * * *

> I recently read Kent Beck's XP book and subsequently read some
> other things on various agile methodologies. I like "agile",
> but the descriptions of XP scare me a bit. My own take on XP
> is that it wouldn't be good for programming consultancies
> because fixed-price fixed-schedule bids would be hard to
> estimate, it wouldn't be good for large systems, and the
> cultural and paridigm shifts necessary would leave only very
> trusting or desperate customers in in-house situations: web
> apps, perhaps. And the economic downturn will probably reign
> this in a bit.

> XP is getting support from a number of people whom I respect,
> including Martin Fowler, Bob Martin, and even Tom DeMarco.
> But, to me, it sounds like an idea that has come and gone.

> Where is it being used successfully today? (companies or
> markets) If it is so popular, it must be working somewhere. I
> have seen the "Wiki web" but its "Projects" section seems to
> include a lot of projects that are trying a feature or two of
> XP: pair programming, unit testing. I'm not sure most of these
> actually belong there

At least one of the XP Universe papers describes using XP in a contract
programming situation. Several other papers are also experience reports.
These are good things to read if you want to see how XP is really being
used...

<http://www.xpuniverse.com/xpuPapers.htm>

Consider that most (probably 80%) of software development is done with
no methodology at all ["code-n-fix"]; XP is a big step up for most of
the industry.

 
 
 

Where is XP working?

Post by Michael Feather » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 21:33:47



>Where is it being used successfully today? (companies or
>markets) If it is so popular, it must be working somewhere. I
>have seen the "Wiki web" but its "Projects" section seems to
>include a lot of projects that are trying a feature or two of
>XP: pair programming, unit testing. I'm not sure most of these
>actually belong there.

I don't know if this is the list you were looking at, but
here is one:

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?CompaniesDoingXp

It would be nice if there were a more complete
list, but I doubt it is possible.  The papers from
XPUniverse and XP2001 give another view
into the XP community.

Michael
www.objectmentor.com

 
 
 

Where is XP working?

Post by Michael Feather » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 23:50:25





>...
>> http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?CompaniesDoingXp
>...
>> ...  The papers from XPUniverse and XP2001 give another
>> view into the XP community.

>Thanks. Despite some of the hype which initially put me off, I
>have read some reasonably balanced reviews of XP: for example,
>Escrow.com, Tensegrent, Oak Grove, ThoughtWorks, and others.
>What is interesting is that no one seems to be using XP as
>described in the Beck book; it's just a departure point for
>local implementations. I am still slogging my way through the
>papers you mention above, but the adaptations to large projects
>are quite interesting as well.

Pretty soon, I am going to write up what we did with Workshare.  They
are one of the companies on the list above.  20 programmers,
and about 10 on the customer team and 10 on the QA
team.

When I first arrived, I kept thinking "how in the world are we going to
break this team down."  But, we left it alone because release was
close, starting doing the practices and it worked, despite the size
of the team.

I think that the issue of 'scale' is a distraction when moving towards
XP.  The real issues seem to be cooperation, organizational buy-in,
and team communication skill.

Re: variations on XP.  Yes, that is true.  XP really is something that
you should adapt to your situation, but only -after- you try the practices
out of the box.  It is only when you do that initially that you know what
you are capable of.

Michael
www.objectmentor.com

 
 
 

Where is XP working?

Post by Keith Ra » Sun, 12 Aug 2001 10:39:46


see also

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiPagesAboutTransitioningToExtremeProgramming

 
 
 

Where is XP working?

Post by Keith Ra » Sun, 12 Aug 2001 10:42:22



[...]

Quote:> Let me ask you another, somewhat unrelated question. From many
> of the things I've read, XP seems to be adopted because it is so
> well enunciated and is an attractive alternative to NO
> methodology. Why aren't the companies trying (and in some cases
> wrestling with and adapting) XP looking at other agile
> methodologies that may be less culturally scary

I can't answer that, as the only company I know tried to use a
methodology (Booch), was doing so at a time when XP wasn't invented yet.

There are some people who are fleeing too-heavy methodogies, at least
one of those wrote it up in the XPUniverse papers.

 
 
 

Where is XP working?

Post by Michael Feather » Tue, 14 Aug 2001 03:05:07





>...
>> Re: variations on XP.  Yes, that is true.  XP really is
>> something that you should adapt to your situation, but only
>> -after- you try the practices out of the box.  It is only

>Let me ask you another, somewhat unrelated question. From many
>of the things I've read, XP seems to be adopted because it is so
>well enunciated and is an attractive alternative to NO
>methodology. Why aren't the companies trying (and in some cases
>wrestling with and adapting) XP looking at other agile
>methodologies that may be less culturally scary.

Many of them are early adopters.  Early adopters are
eager to do the reflection and hard work that it takes to
fundamentally change what they are doing.

The thing that is most interesting to me about XP
is that the emergent behavior that is triggered by
the rules enables a broad range of healthy behavior
in organizations.  Some of the other agile methods
have this effect, but nowhere near to the degree
that XP does.

I know that there are many organizations which
just want to deliver software, but I also know that
there are many who care about how they do it
and what kind of a work environment they have.
The culture is compelling, and part of what makes
XP so attractive.

Michael Feathers
www.objectmentor.com