that it really picks up from the best practices in the past and combines them into something that makes a lot of sense.
Kent: Well, the intent is certainly that, although you can look at individual practices in XP and say, well, that's naïve, how could this test-first programming stuff give you decent quality? There's other practices that support the weaknesses of any individual practices. So that the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts.
Kent: I would say that Jim Highsmith's adaptive software development is kind of the manifesto for a whole community of people who are all looking for ways of focusing people on programming, instead of programming on people.
Carol: Now, one of the things I think…There's always danger. What would be the biggest danger? If a company was saying, you know, I kind of like what I hear, they go out and they buy your book, they like this whole process, they get involved in some of the Web type things. What's the biggest danger that they can encounter?
Kent: I think really, it's the social…It's more the relationship between business and development. It's…If you're producing something on a very regular basis, you're producing business functionality on a regular basis, you can tell 25% into a project whether you're going to on the final day have as much stuff as you expected. One third as much as you expected, or three times as much as you expected. Well, there's lot of organizations that punish that kind of honest feedback. And so the biggest dangers, I think, are that you bring XP in, you start using it, the information will start to flow, and people will flip out because they just don't know how to deal with honest feedback.
Kent: There's a danger if the techies get ahold of it. And use it as a stick, and say, "Hey, back off. We're extreme programming now." …Somebody who said, "Well, my supplier went to…said they were adopting extreme programming, and from my perspective, the only thing that changed is I stopped getting documentation." I just think there's a little bit more to it than that.
Carol: Oh, I just conjured up this vision of these techies standing with their laptops between them and the business community and saying, "Fend off!"
Kent: Kind of Ghostbusters. "Back off! We're scientists!" And that can certainly happen. XP is about a conversation between equals. It's business and development having a conversation that they both have a different perspective to bring to, and neither can impose their will on the other. So if you say, "Look, this is going to take six months." And the business person says, "I have to have it in three months," the programmers should say, "Which three months would you like first, sir?" "I have to have it all!" "We understand that, but in the meantime, which three months would you like us to work on first, sir?" And one of the things I like about XP is that is gives…Programmers sometimes are really beaten down, right? They're told that if only they were better, they could meet their estimates, and all this other stuff. And they feel oppressed, right? They feel frustrated, and XP gives them…You're making lots of estimates, you're tracking lots of actuals, you have all kinds of data to say, "Look, what you're asking for is simply impossible. I'm not going to sign my name to anything that's simply impossible. You're going to have to make a business decision about which three months' worth of this stuff you