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This will be the first in a series to document my organization's adoption of an agile development process (specifically Extreme Programming). I want to document this process for three main reasons: 1. Basic posterity. I may want to look back on this process and reflect on the mistakes we made. 2. So that others can learn from our mistakes. 3. So that others can possibly help keep me from making their mistakes. Seems like a lot of mistakes being made in agile development. That's actually kind of the point: fail fast. Hurry up and get it wrong the first time, so you can learn from those mistakes and move forward.

Our first challenge is defining what Extreme Programming IS. We got copies of The Art of Agile Development for all the members of the team. It is an EXCELLENT resource for getting everyone on the same page when it comes to XP practices and, more importantly, the purpose of those practices. That is the main fundamental that I have tried to push to my team (and push to myself): the purpose of the practice is more important than the practice itself. The point of TDD is to create a feeling of confidence in the stability and design of your code. If it is not doing that, you need to punt it and find something that DOES do that. The point of Incremental Design, is to develop only functionality that provides business value. If you find yourself outside that scope, either you've wandered off the XP farm, or Incremental design is not working for you... get rid of it.

The whole point of Agile development is making change the heart of your process, don't be afraid to change your process, tools, code, the design, etc. That's what this process is all about.

Until next time...


Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 2:22 AM | Back to top

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