Updated April 21, 2023
Extreme Programming (XP)
Placed in the late 1900s, software development and programming concepts saw a considerable change in the way and approach of the entire schema. The development of computer software was changing as more leaner and pocket-sized methods gained popularity, and developers began applying explicit unitized models. There should be a reduction in wastage with the increase in demand for efficient systems, and thus, the era of methodologies for efficient software development came to rise. Object-Oriented Programming soon replaced procedural programming, and the waterfall model made way for Agile to take over the lead. Japanese quality control frameworks were quickly gaining momentum. Then emerged the concept of something previously used in bits and pieces but now a full-fledged methodology for solving software programming and development woes, Extreme Programming!
What is Extreme Programming (XP)?
With many changes seeing the light of day from clients, Extreme Programming (XP) came in as relief for organizing projects undertaken by software specialists.
Implementation of extreme programming enhanced software quality and responded more efficiently to the changing business requirements caused by scaling of companies or external factors.
XP is a methodology under the Agile umbrella that encourages frequent version releases in short development cycles. It would inevitably increase productivity significantly, and the regular releases would pave the way for incorporating newer requirements.
Extreme Programming (XP) has “customer satisfaction” at the heart of its framework and “teamwork” as the muscle power. Collaboration is necessary for extreme programming (XP) to succeed as it takes iterative steps toward producing software for clients/customers. At every stage along the way, it focuses on fulfilling the client’s needs rather than delivering the entire belt.
Part of Agile Software Development
Agile software development is the undertaking way of development, but most importantly, most people forget to acknowledge that teams, that is, people, need to be Agile to succeed. The methods and processes implementation only ensures that there is a fixed framework in which teams can be flexible, scalable, and more definitively creative.
Agile provides a great platform to implement changes and feedback in each development cycle that passes by, thanks to the concepts of iteration and sprints, as seen in the case of Scrum.
When it comes to Extreme Programming (XP), it considers all the opportunities that can result in improvements made to the product at the end.
Traditional Development versus Extreme Programming (XP)
- While traditional development focuses on the process and considers it when it comes to the completion of the cycle, extreme programming focuses on the requirement.
- Extreme Programming (XP) takes the best practices installed in traditional development to the outer limits. The stretching with extreme programming (XP) is excellent for flexible and elastic projects.
- Traditional development has segmentation as the primary factor in software development cycles. In contrast, extreme programming (XP) advocates the collaboration between teams and stakeholders for their constant feedback and views during iterations and planning stages.
5 Values for a Successful Project
Extreme programming (XP) involves the five important ways or values of heading toward a successful software project:
- Communication – This software development methodology requires intimate contact between the managers, clients/customers, and developers. To ensure the smooth functioning of the software project, the team implements effective communication and utilizes other project management tools within it to facilitate the project life cycle.
- Courage – With dramatic changes in customer requirements, the developers must courageously undertake the challenges that crop up at the last minute or contradicting modifications applied to the project at any time.
- Implementation of Feedback occurs through constant unit testing, and the results are evaluated and accordingly implemented within the project development cycles.The team presents a demo to customers as soon as the development cycle is completed to incorporate feedback, with customers being at close quarters.
- Respect – Each development cycle brings with its success to a new milestone, and it only exemplifies the contributions put into processes undertaken.
- Simplicity – extreme programming (XP) is most efficient when the design is kept simple and implementation planning is clear and effective. A lot of extreme programming rides on the simple rules it has in place.
Collaboration in the team and daily connection to the business for optimized product development form the backbone of extreme programming (XP), while user stories form the basis of XP planning. Jot down these user stories on cards. Manipulating these cards can bring to life the project scope and plan.
These XP planning are created with three levels or tiers.
- Future months
- Next iteration
- Current iteration
Plans are always temporary; before the end of the last program, make the recreation of methods. They change as and when there is even a slight change in the project or its schedule. The iteration starts at the occurrence of evolution. You gain feedback from the customer; you revisit your plan. You stand ahead or behind schedule; you review and change your plan.
Through planning, the most appropriate designs for the product to be delivered come into effect. Use Extreme programming (XP), Test-driven development (TDD), and refactoring for effective and efficient designing.
Already having the essence of Agile, refactoring is an essential and crucial design tool involved in the planning process. Refactoring involves making design alternations and adjustments in accord with the altered needs. With refactoring comes the concept of testing in a unitized and acceptable manner.
The following steps take center stage when executing a planning or feedback loop. Each action here is iterative and can be in succession upon initiation of a change:
Each step in the sequence can be iterative and looped as and upon the initiation of the change sequence and a recreation of a new plan for each initiation. Each step also has a particular duration, and there is a schedule for the rest of the feedback for each stage of the product.
- Coding to Pair Programming – seconds
- Pair Programming to Unit Testing – minutes
- Unit Testing to Pair Negotiation – hours
- Pair Negotiation to Stand-up Meeting – one day
- Stand-up Meeting to Acceptance Testing – days
- Acceptance Testing to Iteration Planning – weeks
- Iteration Planning to Release planning – months
With the level of iteration sought after, it becomes mandatory for the developers to ensure and assure that code is of optimum quality. Reporting bugs is a strict no-no for developers following the extreme programming methodology for software development.
What is Pair Programming?
As the central resource to the extreme programming methodology is people and not processes, people run the concept of pair programming. Adding productivity and quality to the table, pair programming goes something like this:
“The code sent into production is created by two people who work together on the code to be created while sitting on a single computer.”
The benefits of this concept of pair programming are as follows:
- Enhanced software quality – while there is no addition in functionality with two people sitting together or apart, concentration on a single computer adds to the quality of the code rendered.
- No effect on delivery time – providing a win-win situation for the project and its stakeholders, using two functional heads to get a high-quality code with no time loss is excellent for software development.
- Cost savings for later stages – with the high-quality code already rendered, the impact it has on later stages is enormous, and there are savings in the cost with each iteration.
Pair programming, as it involves two distinctive individuals working together at equal tables, it becomes essential for them to coordinate at a higher level, irrespective of the level of experience. It’s a social skill that takes time to learn, and it needs two dedicated professionals that want to make a difference in the world of software development.
Pair programming is always proceeded by extensive and continuous integration of the new functionality incorporated, and the cycle continues.
While we know that the rules put to work in the world of Extreme Programming (XP) are based on the principle and value of Simplicity, having a good view of these rules makes up an excellent methodology within software development techniques.
Within planning, the project manager and his team look at the requirements thoroughly and adhere to the following rules:
- Jot down User stories.
- Release planning should result in a release schedule
- Split the project is split
- Releases need to be frequent but small
- Iteration planning should start the iteration
Managing the tasks allotted and the duration for each peculiar task is the role of the project manager. It’s essential that the project manager is mindful of the risks and adherence of each stage undertaken by the team members and steers the workforce and resources accordingly to fulfill the concept of extreme programming (XP). Here are some of the rules that need to go through a PM:
- The team should receive an open workspace to extend their imagination
- The schedule allotted should be realistic and carefully paced
- Each working day should commence with a stand-up meeting
- Collaboration and teamwork are major components and need the utmost encouragement
- Measure Project Velocity during each change incorporation
- Move around People.
- Steering extreme programming (XP) is quintessential and initiates planning at each opportunity for change.
Designing is the stage that carefully follows planning and determines the handling of requirements at the project’s initial phase. A good design reflects the thought process and creativity and calls for fewer iterations, thus, ensuring high levels of quality at the very start of the project. Being a reflection of the planning stage, here are a few rules to keep in mind during the implementation of designs in extreme programming (XP):
- Simplicity is key
- Do not introduce functionality at an early stage
- Refactoring is essential at every step to provide efficient and effective product designs
- Use Spike solutions to reduce the number and intensity of risks in the software project
Once the design is in place, it’s time to get all hands on deck and give the go-ahead for creating and generating code that will enter production for testing and delivery. Coding is the stage that demonstrates the actual functioning of the project methodology and encourages iteration most effectively. Here are quick rules to be mindful of when in the coding stage:
- Customer needs to be in the loop at all times during product releases
- Code must adhere to coding standards and practices adopted worldwide
- Code the unit test as the start
- Production code should undergo pair programming for high quality
- Integrate principles often and should be done by one pair only at a particular time
- Share accountability, and promote intensive teamwork
- Pair programming should take place on one computer
- Preferable seating of the pair should be side by side
With the code ready and rolling, testing is a seal of the smooth functioning of the code lines. Testing forms as a seal stamp, ensuring software preparation for consumption. Following are the rules put in place for testing within Extreme Programming (XP):
- A code should contain unit tests.
- A release would require codes to pass these unit tests
- Create tests for the detection of bugs
- Acceptance tests should have a high frequency, and results should be published.
- Users shouldn’t detect any bugs within a code.
When to Use Extreme Programming (XP)?
Extreme Programming was born due to the need to work around a project that carried a lot of changes at many junctures in time. It became necessary for the methodology adopted to be iterative and straightforward at its core. The following are the situations that can ask for the use of extreme programming (XP):
- Customers don’t have a good idea about the system’s functionality
- Expect Changes are dynamic to change after short intervals of time
- Business is steeply rising
- Resources allocated are the bare minimum; no huge staff
- Need a considerable increase in productivity
- Risk needs high levels of mitigation
- High provisions for testing
So, here’s extreme programming (XP) for you in brief and simple words. This methodology has reported success in all software development undertakings and has had a great success rate throughout its implementation history. Born out of standard and simplistic requirements, extreme programming (XP) is now slowly gaining recognition as a methodology.
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