RE: Extreme Programming goes mainstream?
Pair-based programming is probably better than the notion that having lots of eyes look at code improves it and everyone seems to accept that one. That they should both be on the same machine seems both awkward and unnecessary. The problem here is picking the right pair and making sure that they have and will use complementary skills. The problems of the "insular coder, the lone hacker, the hero programmer" etc are well known and have caused many a business model driven project to fail. The other extreme of that are the secrecy obsessed organizations that breed personal competition into every level of their employees with carrot and stick management. This makes XP almost impossible to implement in the development groups and leads to the very common inter department schisms between the business types (the suits) and the artistics (the programmers). We are watching some well-established firms dropped to their knees in their stock prices as the market observing a lack of innovation and the failure to deliver on promises made lose confidence and simply ignore these companies. This is not just a dot.com problem; it is epidemic in the computer science industries particularly where the CEOs and CTOs have yet to understand that the Internet business is not about building a barrier of complexity to competitors; it is about building simple strong bridges to allies. You have to pick a model for interaction that scales up the levels of the organization. You can't depend on a power elite; you must depend on a process that self-validates and self-organizes. In a sense, these organizations work much the same way an XSLT stylesheet works; it tries as much as possible to remove a dependency on globals and relies on smart recognition of patterns. That is why the pairing must be precise; what each one recognizes as they work together is vital. It isn't a [expletive deleted] contest; it is a game of styling. The problem is control, how to get it, keep it, and use it wisely to ensure your company is profitable and employees are satisfied. Unless you can do this, the business plans will not be met and no amount of cajoling or browbeating will change that downward slide. Our business depends both on application and innovation and knowing when to do which of these for some given project. Whatever else you do, you must train fear out of the employees and yourself. Knowledge and a certainty that what is learned will be applied sensibly leads to confidence. XP, done well, leads to confidence in the code and the product, thus the management must be the styler of confidence, it cannot be simply, confidential. "The problem is not in the stars..." Len http://www.mp3.com/LenBullard Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti. Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h -----Original Message----- From: Tim Bray [mailto:tbray@t...] Maybe, 20 years after I got into this profession, we can finally leave behind the notion that the business people will write a complete spec for what they need, and the programmers go implement that. It's never worked outside of a few specialized domains, and never will.
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