As a senior project manager in an ever-growing digital agency and the main go-to communication person when landing clients and/ or pitching projects I have had the pleasure to take
A Short Guide to Extreme Programming
Computer programming is the art of converting logic to actual work. Traditional programmers may disagree with us, but have you ever thought what the underlying purpose of programming is?
From a programmer’s point of view, you may be thinking solving problems is the real purpose of programming. However, the hard truth is, industries do not care much about solving problems. In the business world, programming is usually seen as a means of aiding competitive advantage for a particular product.
What this means is, a CEO or an MD of a leading multinational company needs programmers to help them with their products or other internal management systems. They don’t care about which language or technologies are being incorporated as long as they attain their goal.
Since its inception as an industrial weapon, programming has seen different approaches taken by programmers. Programmers at NASA used a much more fundamental approach than what we’re doing these days. Structural programming became famous with the introduction of procedural languages like C during the 70s.
From the 90s, object-oriented programming (OOP) became the new choice of industries due to the convenience it offered for software development. Other styles or paradigms such as agile development and test-driven development has seen a rise in use. Extreme programming is one of such programming paradigms that was invented as a solution for delivering modern and effective software solutions for industries.
In this short guide, we’ll look closely at what Extreme Programming is, how does it work, why should we use it and other important aspects for the potential audience.
Extreme Programming: Definition
Extreme Programming(XP) is an approach to deliver software solutions. It is a software development methodology where the primary emphasis is on the use of Best Practises.
This paradigm is based on the fact that customer requirements are going to change over time. So it’s better to build the most essential parts of a software and get the customer’s approval than building the whole solution and facing changes in requirements.
Extreme programming derives its name from the fact that it incorporates best-known practices to the extreme level. According to this method, best-known practices are widespread because they’re effective. So incorporating best practices and incrementing features day by day will allow a software solution to be more robust and meet customer’s expectation.
Origin of Extreme Programming
The origin of this paradigm goes as far back as the 90s. Industries were heavily employing an OOP method to achieve their software goals. Chrysler, a subsidiary of the Fiat automobiles were looking to establish a payment system which would pay all of their 80000 plus employees in the same way.
Their choice of stack included the Smalltalk programming language and GemStone as the data access layer. The project was known as Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation System or simply the C3.
Kent Beck, a pioneer of the Smalltalk language was brought in to help with the project. Facing the common problems present in the development process, Kent proposed and later implemented the first extreme programming approach. C3 thus became an important milestone in the XP methodologies.
Why Go the Extreme Way?
So the next big question is why do we need Extreme Programming and what’s the feasibility of this approach when building commercial solutions.
Traditionally, a slow development process is the most common problem faced by both enterprises and developers. In this era of rapid business growth, new demands are emerging every day. The old development methods are somewhat incompatible when it comes to meet the target of delivering timely solutions.
Once, it was normal for software to be in the development phase for years. Even after production, updating needed much time. It was quite common for a software to be in the making for 5-10 years. However, the fast growth of enterprises requires much rapid access to the latest software. We’ve come to a time when it’s normal for the business people to ask developers to deliver a software in less than a year.
Even after developers deliver the software, clients always demand changes as their requirements took a turn during the development process. This is mainly because of the lack of understanding of business logic and programming feasibility between organizations and developers.
XP aims at reducing this problem by allowing developers to incorporate the most basic features of a software first. Developers then show this prototype to customers for rapid evaluation. If the customer approves, then the development of the next most necessary function begins.
This cycle continues and eventually when all the crucial features are developed, the team goes into production. If changes in customer’s requirements appear, they’re dealt accordingly right away.
Components of Extreme Programming(XP)
Extreme programming defines 4 core activities as the main components of the paradigm. These are coding, testing, listening, and designing.
Coding is the key state of the XP approach where the developers start coding to implement the features of the software. As the paradigm suggests, the most critical element of the software solution needs to be coded first.
According to the principal of XP, coding all the features of the software before submitting them for feedback consumes a much higher time and productivity of the developer.
Coding the essential feature first allows the developer to be ready to meet the changing requirements of the customers. If the client does not approve a feature, the developer can throw that part out and start coding the new feature immediately.
The coding process of the XP paradigm adapts an incremental model. In this case, each feature is coded at a time, then evaluated before adding the next feature incrementally. By following this approach, the developer is sure of the prototype at any given time.
Testing is an integral part of the extreme programming methodology. The advocates of the XP paradigm believed that if a little testing can eliminate a few flaws, then a lot of testing could eliminate most of the flaws present in a software.
The initial idea was to test each piece of code written during the implementation of a feature at the end of the day. This would allow any potential bugs or flaws to be thwarted regularly and developers could code the next feature without having to worry about previous codes.
These are tests written for checking if a feature works as intended by the developers. Unit tests are automated tests written by keeping in mind what possible actions could break the feature. The more the number of tests, the higher the chances of the function being implemented correctly.
These tests are performed to check if the new feature rightly fulfills the client’s requirements.
Although it might not sound as cool, listening is another very important component of the XP paradigm. Developers are often faced with tasks or requirements that just can’t be implemented.
It frequently happens because most of the time customers don’t have enough technical knowledge to be aware of what can be implemented and what not. The result is redundant customer requirements of which the development team have no idea.
Listening eliminates these redundancies and aims at closing the gap between the customers need and the developers’ capacities. By listening carefully to the customer, developers can determine what the customer is looking for in the software and what business logic is needed to implement.
Only by listening to the customers, developers can give them feedback about different technical aspects of the problem and how it can be solved, or if can’t be solved at all.
Many would argue that system development doesn’t require anything more than coding, testing, and listening. By utilizing only these 3 components, a great system can be architected. But in practice, this would not hold for commercial systems.
The software required by enterprises is complicated and needs a lot of dependencies. The code bases are very large. This opens up the scope of extra complexities and redundancies.
Yes, it’s possible to go for a certain amount of time without any definite design of a software. But, eventually, there will be deadlocks and overheads that can’t be avoided anymore. A good design allows the developers to implement the software in a more structured way. In the future, this will enable developers to debug the system quickly and find potential flaws.
The design should be free from too many dependencies, as lots of dependencies can cripple the system in the long term. Updating versions or moving the development stack also becomes a tedious task if the software requires too many dependencies. A modular, structural, and concise design approach should be taken for commercial software solutions.
Practices of Extreme Programming
Extreme programming methodology has defined selective practices for developers to follow. By following these practices, developers can aid to their contribution to a software much profoundly.
TDD or test-driven development is a development approach which makes sure any given feature is implemented as the developers intended. This method promotes writing tests before even developing a feature. When the feature passes all the defined tests, developers can be sure of that features functionality.
It differs from the conventional approach to software development where tests are done after implementing a feature. In this method, bugs or runtime flaws can be present in a function if the developer team fails to focus on every imaginable problem.
TDD has become a popular method of software development on its own. It provides developers with the certainty of a given feature.
Pair programming is heavily advocated by Kent Beck, the creator of the XP approach. What it means is that every piece of code is written by two dedicated programmers, instead of one.
This allows the developers to ensure proper coding standards. Coding any specific feature with a partner means a developer is less likely to deviate from the project requirement.
It also allows cross-checking of each feature right from the time of coding. Pair programming eliminates many of the common redundancies faced when programming individually.
Collective Ownership of Code
This means every piece of code is available to all the team members. According to this practice, codes are part of the team. Any team member is allowed to view already existing codes and may propose a change.
In traditional development practices, each developer is typically assigned their roles and do all their coding alone. This may become a burden if somehow the developer doesn’t remain in the team for the whole project. New developers need to contribute on their code even without having the same mindset of the previous developer.
This means any functionality of a given feature needs to be integrated incrementally. Usually, developers write codes for all the functionality of a feature then integrate those all at the same time.
This can cause potential problems during deployment. Continuous integration allows developers to be aware of any unwanted issues right when they integrate it.
Controversy and Criticism of Extreme Programming
Since its inception as a software development paradigm, extreme programming has been part of a huge debate concerning its feasibility in commercial solutions. Lots of criticism from prominent figures have targeted this paradigm.
Critics primarily drew upon the fact that by having on-site client request changes, XP promotes project scope creep. It can be thought of as a mean of bleeding much more money from the customer than agreed or funded.
XP’s primary viewpoint depends mostly on the interpretation of the client’s requirements by programmers. By not having fixed requirements it confuses customers as they usually have little or no technical knowledge.
Customers also object that the necessity of having a customer representative in the development team leads to the potential danger of micro-management. Having no major design up-front is also seen negatively.
Prominent figures like McBreen and Boehm has criticized XP for being “often used as a means to bleed money from customers through lack of defining a deliverable product.”
Extreme programming is hailed as a significantly important software development paradigm. If incorporated rightly, it can deliver top-notch commercial solutions at a much shorter development period. It has led the way to newer development paradigms such as the agile software development, and test-driven development.
However, concerns regarding the proper usage of this method remain. It’s believed to be much more resource consuming than other traditional approaches to commercial software.
Get notifications every time when Jānis B. writes a new article!
Latest from the Netcore hub
Explore, comment and join the dicussions
It's no secret that development costs have risen over the last couple of years, markets are saturated, and it's getting harder and harder to find high-quality development partners. That's why
In business, good technology is not an option, but a must. Nowadays, it is technology that bridges the gap between people and possibilities. In our previous article, we have mentioned
Let’s face it, choosing a software development company to get your software application created isn’t the easiest thing ever. Some suppliers will intimidate you with technical jargon, hoping to project themselves
Custom e-commerce development vs open-source platforms With more than 4 billion internet users around the world, you know bringing e-commerce into your business is the right decision. The hard part is
Thanks to the inception of modern, cutting-edge technologies such as Enterprise Resource Planning(ERP) and Customer Relationship Management(CRM), managing large businesses is considerably much more comfortable than old times. However, industries
Setting an online store is not much of a big deal. You need the right tools, the right people, and the services to get any of your business ideas online,
As your business grows, there will be an increasing rate of IT issues that are plaguing daily operations. An unstable network, loss data and potential security breaches often brought business
In our previous posts, we've already discussed the concept of outsourcing as well as exploring the different options of outsourcing, the range of prices for each of these options, and
Modern men are the busiest - this is something we all have to agree at some point or another. We live in a time where even putting some time aside
While it’s agreed that the lack of communication breaks a team apart, incorrect communications method also causes productivity to nosedive. Modern technologies have changed various aspects of a company’s operation,
Financial advantages of having an offshore development center (ODC) In previous articles, as we were covering outsourcing pricing guides and other outsourcing related topics; we quickly skimmed over the advantages of
Every business owner attempting to start a software development project will have this burning question, “should I hire an in-house team or outsource to an overseas agency?”. Unfortunately, there isn’t
Startups entrepreneurs and project managers often share the same dilemma when trying to turn software concept into actual applications that work. A team could be equally divided in opinions when
Be it a small business or a large enterprise, everyone wants to expand and enhance their customer database for marketing purposes. And, to do so, they need to collect the
As an e-commerce entity, you have noticed a drift in the behavior of your customers lately. More and more people are abandoning the cart? Have you assessed the situation? Do
You’ve heard how having a remote team can increase productivity significantly at work. And with the ease of connectivity, tools, and technology, you have every reason to allow your employee
Even the brightest employee could suffer a burn out when he or she is continuously engaged with work without taking sufficient breaks. An important skill to survive in a modern
After years of struggling with long commute hours, you’ve got your dream job where you could work remotely from home. The flexibility of being able to work without leaving your
Whether you're working for a full-fledged software firm or are just a lone dev, the deadline is something we all tend to worry about. Despite how talented or creative you
Small and medium companies are adopting the work-out-of-office policy at a rapid rate. It’s a growing trend that creates an attractive option for Gen-Y and millennial employees. But it’s also
One of the perks working with a modern software development team is the ability to work remotely from anywhere around the planet. You’ll expect that such flexibility naturally accounts for
It's not too long ago when developers were using dynamic languages such as PHP or C++ for enabling advanced features to their users that were impossible to implement with older
Programming, once a rhetorical way of aiding the computation of large and complex calculations, has taken over many different roles since its inception. Moreover, as we embrace technology in every
It doesn't matter whether you're trying for getting an app build or are learning the ins and outs of UX design, chances are you pretty often stumble with terms like
Almost all of us share our personal information - names, addresses, emails, etc. - with Google, Facebook and other websites. Confusing and lengthy terms and conditions make it harder for
Regardless of industry, modern companies are reliant on IT systems to various degrees. Some companies use CRM or similar solutions to manage day-to-day operations. Others depend on integrated software platforms
Ever had a software coded and deployed only to suffer multiple technical issues that take weeks to address? Many companies have suffered from poorly designed software and ended up suffering massive
Computer programming is the art of converting logic to actual work. Traditional programmers may disagree with us, but have you ever thought what the underlying purpose of programming is? From a
It would be a rather unfair comparison when pitting custom software with their off-the-shelf counterparts. Both possess pros and cons that may accelerate or hamper the growth of the business
It’s probably old news, but visuals are an increasingly important element in software design. Whether it’s a responsive website, mobile app or a custom application, the days where uninspiring images
Long gone the days when we needed to rely on bulky software's and cumbersome browser extensions to achieve anything close to a real-time conversation. Many of us, who used the
Modern enterprises rely on electronic devices and solutions much more than you can anticipate. Even a few hours of system disruptions can lead to a severe decrease in productivity. All
You may have a great idea for a product that you think might solve people’s problems but are afraid to execute it due to a lot of time and money
Banks and Finance institutions are the real powerhouses of a nation. In this time of wide-spread international tradings and industrial collaborations, organizations need to be efficient, yet co-operative. Regulations like
Attempting to deploy an untested software is courting catastrophic disaster for your company. But if your software team claims that it’s undergone sufficient testing and yet you’re facing a barrage
If you’re not using Slack, you’re missing out big time. At least, that’s what other developers, marketers, and professionals are raving about. There’s no denying that Slack puts an end
If you’re part of a remote team, you may have found that Slack has replaced email as the preferred channel of communication between co-workers. It allows information sharing to be
A Detailed Study into Gulp and Webpack: When and Why? I can remember the first time, back when I was a junior web developer, somebody said to me “run a build
Improve Your Business With IT System Support and Maintenance The truth is, with the digital era on the rise, the strength of one's IT systems may make or break the business.
If I would guess and predict you're reading this post from your mobile phone instead of a desktop/laptop, what is the chance of me being wrong? I can say with
R&D centers are the core of every industry. They focus on researching and developing new tools and strategies that can help people advance in a field. It takes time, effort,
Well, hey there! Searching for CRMs are you? Well then in this case, I’m guessing that you either think that you need a CRM for managing your business and its
In order for an e-commerce platform to be successful, companies have to take a multi-disciplinary approach to optimization. With a mix of marketing, logistics, UX design, and savvy web development,
If you’ve been holding hours of meeting with your team and fail to reach a consensus on whether to invest in customer software or not, we’re more than ready to
Are you one of the incredibly active business owners who never settle? Do you get a new idea for a new unique project every single hour or two? Does time
Are you looking to have more organized and coordinated operations in your business? Is your firm taking a turn you are not happy with, in regards to customer relations and
Developing desktop applications can be full of challenges that make it hard to approach if you don't have the matching knowledge base of a CS graduate. To understand the ins
The development of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system has continued to evolve since 2004 according to Mark Krake, Engineer and Software developer. The requirements vary among user companies as demand
Recruitment is about putting the right people into your team. But when it comes to hiring software developers, it could be a tall order. With software developers often classified into
Want to see more?
Check out netcore blog
LGain insight into the world of Netcore by visiting
our HUB. Subscribe to our newsletter and don't
miss any updates!