Improving Wetware

Because technology is never the issue

Revisiting "Applying the Lessons of eXtreme Programming"

Posted by Pete McBreen 11 Aug 2021 at 17:37

Way back in 2000 for the TOOLS34 conference I wrote an article Applying the Lessons of eXtreme Programming and it was interesting to look back at it to see how things have worked out since then.

  • Applying JUnit – the unit test frameworks as not as widely utilized as I expected, but now all modern programming languages ship with a flavor of unit testing built in
  • Be intolerant of process variations and working off process – many teams have not learned this lesson and have problems arising from this
  • Use a coach to keep the team on process and improve individual skills – this does not seem to have caught on, even in teams that use Scrum, the scrum master role does not always enforce process
  • Apply the Quality First Strategy – I still see to many teams that allow code to be merged without adequate tests that later prove to contain incorrect code
  • Continuous Integration is the only way to avoid Integration Hell – I’d soften this to a way to avoid, and many teams still have problems making this work
  • Tired humans produce lousy software – still true, and even agile teams sometimes forget this
  • Incremental Development requires Incremental Requirements Capture – still true, some teams are getting good at this
  • Simple Designs are easier to maintain and evolve – in the era of microservices, we seem to be forgetting this lesson. Yes the microservices themselves are simple, but the interaction between multiple microservices are really hard to maintain for a lot of teams
  • Adjust your development process slowly and measure the effects of the change – I still think this is a good lesson from XP, but all too many teams are not very good at this
  • Many projects would benefit from a good dose of Reality Therapy – still true unfortunately