Exploring Extreme Programming

Before the Agile Manifesto?there was Extreme Programming. I discovered it through the http://c2.com wiki???the first wiki and was instantly impressed. Extreme programming is indeed the extreme. There are values such as communication, simplicity, feedback and courage. Later respect was added. But, courage is what caught my attention. Too often, I see people operate out of fear, which is simply debilitating. Even the “move fast and break things” movement is not courageous because they hedge their bets and concede that they’ll break things.

Extreme Programming is different. It doesn’t make excuses. It doesn’t hide behind trade-offs such as, if we move fast, things will get messy. No, the Extreme Programming stance was different. What happens if we take all?the best practices and turn the knob to 11?

There are many practices and you can read about them detail here. Some of them were revolutionary at the time. How did extreme programming fare? It depends. On one hand it ushered the era of Agile and, as such, was revolutionary. But, on the other hand it was too strict to follow exactly. The Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation (C3) project that was the real world test bed for Extreme Programming was cancelled after 7 years and a plethora of other Agile methods exploded on the scene. Many of the original extreme programming practitioners such as Ward Cunningham, Kent Beck and Martin Fowler became well-known thought leaders, published successful books and continued to advance the state of software development. I definitely learned a lot about software development from reading and trying to practice variants of Extreme Programming.

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