Long before the Agile Manifesto of 2001, the initial Extreme Programming (XP) project was initiated in March 1996 by a Mr Kent Beck.
The development of software in the 90’s had two major influences. Firstly ‘procedural programming’ (which consists of specifying which stages a programme must take to finish at a desired stage) was now replaced by more ‘object oriented programming’ (this entails objects having both data fields and methods, which are linked processes). Secondly the external advent of the Internet highlighted the need for ‘speed to market’, thus a desired speedy commercial factor. As requirements were quickly changing, this called for shorter product life cycles, and this could not be met with the more traditional software development methods in existence at that time.
The satisfaction of its customers is at the core of XP’s aim and the process delivers software required as it is needed, as opposed to on some date in the future.
Customers, developers and managers collaborate and are uniform in the process. XP improves the software development process in a number of distinct ways; these are;
Extreme Programmers have an ethos of ongoing communication with both the other programmers and their customers, thus keeping the design simplistic. Feedback is obtained through testing on the first day..
XP consists of a large number of smaller pieces, which individually would make no sense whilst when put together, the software picture can be seen as a whole. There are expectations between team members however these are not the end goal. The working environment encourages both alliance and empowerment between team members.
Early days of XP programming
US-auto manufacturers utilised the services of Beck Kent in a project abbreviated as ‘C3’ but known as the ‘Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation System’. The corporation’s aim was to overhaul their multiple payroll systems into one sole system for ease of use to pay the company’s 87,00 employees. ‘C3’ regularly gets cited in many publications relating to the advent of XP. In 1997 the software was rolled out but only managed to pay over 10,000 of Chrysler employees and was considered a failure…next week I shall give a further insight into the development and innovation of XP programming….