e-Talk Radio: Extreme Programming, 1 February 2001

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The three "extremos" are really Ron Jeffries, Ward Cunningham, and Kent Beck, who have been involved with object-oriented programming and Extreme Programming for a very long time.

Kent wrote a book called "Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change". And that came out last year. And it has been a very, very insightful and actually a bible for many people who are looking at changing the way they develop software, changing some of the things that they know don't work, the traditional ways of building software. And Kent put those in his book, Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change, and we'll back to talk with Kent Beck after these short messages.

And we're back with Quality Plus e-Talk! I haven't yet heard from Kent Beck and Ward Cunningham. I'm not sure what's going on on the Oregon coast, but we're going to wait for them to phone in. Meanwhile, for anyone who's listening that doesn't know a lot about Extreme Programming, let me just bring you a little bit up to speed.

Extreme Programming, to a lot of people, they might look at that as being something similar to bungee jumping, or they have visions of people with laptops jumping off with bungee cords, or everybody's got piercings in the office, or something like that. But really, that's not the case in extreme programming at all. Well, a lot of people might say, you know, "extreme," that means taking risks. Extreme anything, if you take a look at extreme sports, the EXPN games, or the X-games or anything like that, it really means going to the edge, and really taking life-threatening risks. And XP couldn't be further from the truth.

XP really takes and minimizes risk by focusing on the things that work well and leveraging that. Let me give you a little bit of setting the scene for XP. Kent Beck in his Extreme Programming Explained book said risk is the basic problem, and I'll quote him: "Software development fails to deliver and fails to deliver value. This failure has huge economic and human impact. We need to find a new way to develop software." And that kind of sets the stage for what extreme programming takes a look at.

About the author

Carol Dekkers's picture Carol Dekkers

Carol A. Dekkers is President of Quality Plus Technologies, Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in creating peace of mind for companies who want to improve their software processes. Software measurement, software quality, process improvement, requirements, and software sizing (using function point analysis, as an example) are a few of the Quality Plus areas of specialization.

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