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The Art of Agile Development

Cover of The Art of Agile Development by James Shore... Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Chapter 3. Understanding XP

“Welcome to the team, Pat,” said Kim, smiling at the recent graduate. “Let me show you around. As I said during the interview, we’re an XP shop. You may find that things are a little different here than you learned in school.”

“I’m eager to get started,” said Pat. “I took a software engineering course in school, and they taught us about the software development lifecycle. That made a lot of sense. There was a bit about XP, but it sounded like it was mostly about working in pairs and writing tests first. Is that right?”

“Not exactly,” said Kim. “We do use pair programming, and we do write tests first, but there’s much more to XP than that. Why don’t you ask me some questions? I’ll explain how XP is different than what you learned.”

Pat thought for a moment. “Well, one thing I know from my course is that all development methods use the software development lifecycle: analysis, design, coding, and testing [see Figure 3-1]. Which phase are you in right now? Analysis? Design? Or is it coding or testing?”

“Yes!” Kim grinned. She couldn’t help a bit of showmanship.

“I don’t understand. Which is it?”

“All of them. We’re working on analysis, design, coding, and testing. Simultaneously. Oh, and we deploy the software every week, too.”

Pat looked confused. Was she pulling his leg?

Kim laughed. “You’ll see! Let me show you around.

“This is our team room. As you can see, we all sit together in one big workspace. This helps us collaborate more effectively.”

Kim led Pat over ...

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