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  1. #1
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    Extreme Programming

    Keep getting my attention drawn to extreme programming ( described here ).

    Has anyone really got into using it in a software project they've worked on? What's you're opinion and how does the theory behind it usually end up equating to practice?

    Particularily interested because I'm looking for ways to make project development work for a team collaborating over the web, and extreme programming does seem to have elements that might work (and other that won't).

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    What? Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I have been readin up on it. Simply because I am moving towards c++. Some of the theories involved are awesome. I think it would help in a group setting.

    I find some of the main keys of the system to be most impressive

    1 - paired programming - interesting idea. I think if you could work the pairs correctly this could be XP's most powerful option.

    2 - Cards (don't remember the name right now) I love doing the design first. I can sit for days designing the class/objects, the database and then the layout. This card system can be used in each of those sections

    I am planning to buy the xp book , Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck. However, will be putting it off until I can 'actually' program in c++

    http://www.xprogramming.com for the full explanation.
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  3. #3
    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
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    The best explanation of Extreme Programming I have read was in "Python Web Programming" by Steve Holden - it was only 3 pages long but it explained the basic principles in a very effective way and gave me a much better understanding of XP than I had managed to get from reading about it on the web.

    I don't think XP is at all suitable for working together over the web, as one of the principle ideas is that of paired programming (which I tried a few weeks ago and found very useful). You can't code in pairs over the net, it just doesn't work.

    From the limited experience I've had with XP it does have some major advantages over traditional techniques - the main problem is that i's quite hard to set up the right environment for using it.

  4. #4
    What? Maelstrom's Avatar
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    In that sense I agree. The only way I could see it working would be if you hd 2 people in Vancouver, 2 in Newyork and 2 in England (all in the same area I might add). Then the three groups could work on sections in pairs.

    BTW Skunk how was the paired experience. Any suggestions. It sounds like it could be a useful method with the right grouping
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    Would love to hear more to. How much depends things like how willing both people are (personally I could see myself going mad, at least to start with, if I had someone watching me code).

    Also - take the point that this isn't suited to the web. Any chance you've come across a methodology that is?

  6. #6
    What? Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by HarryF
    Would love to hear more to. How much depends things like how willing both people are (personally I could see myself going mad, at least to start with, if I had someone watching me code).

    Also - take the point that this isn't suited to the web. Any chance you've come across a methodology that is?
    I don't think you have to have someone watching. There would be ways to do it without that strict watching. You could manipulate the rules (rules are meant to be bent). For example have one person worried about coding and another worried about the design/layout (of the code) and the code being strict standards. So one person could work through the code written and find errors, things that deviate from the set path of the code, as well as jsut a second perspective.

    When one gets stuck you switch... That would be an interesting process and something worth looking into.
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  7. #7
    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
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    The pair thing ended up being more about design than actual code. The more design you do the less code you actually have to write, and having a constant dialog while you design leads to a much stronger code structure. It becomes almost impossible to write bad code or put something in that's badly designed because you are justifying and discussing every decision (and every function, class and method) almost before you type them. I've been told several times in my Software Engineering course at Uni that coding on a well designed and managed piece of software will end up being only about 20% of the work, and the better I get at design the more I realise that this is true. It's amazing how accurate the general rule is that says "the better you are at programming the less code you will need to write" - I find myself writing programs 10 times more functional than I was 6 months ago in the same number of lines of code. I found that paired programming really helped me concentrate on good software design during the coding process.


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