Transitioning the Team to XP

I l @ ve RuBoard

In the transition to the XP process, there may be some hesitation. Some developers will be nervous about having the customer around while they work. Some may be wary of working in pairs. Some may not agree with writing unit tests first.

If you are experiencing resistance, you need to ask the team why they are dismissing these practices. Here are some likely answers.

"I don't want to pair-program with another developer ”it will waste my time." Too many developers have tried and liked pair programming to dismiss it outright . We have worked with people who hated the idea at first but came around to its benefits. They found that it isn't a power struggle over the keyboard; it is working on solving a problem together. You need to remind foot draggers that they have to try it before they condemn the idea.

"I don't like having the customer around ”he will just get in the way and make me uncomfortable." There is a common belief that customers are evil creatures who cause of all of a project's problems. This isn't true. Some of our best experiences on projects have been when the customer was sitting several feet away at his own desk, available to answer our questions, participate in setting priorities, and generally helping to inspire us. He actually became part of the team. This may seem like a leap of faith for developers, but it is a necessary one.

"I don't want to write unit tests ”they sound like a lot of work and a waste of time." In practice, writing unit tests improves the quality of the work as well as the ease of maintenance. Every programmer's worst nightmare is having to take on someone else's work and make changes to it. By writing unit tests, you can make changes and know immediately what problems will occur. Once developers get into the habit of writing unit tests first, they will find that the process is not as cumbersome as they originally thought.

Whatever the excuses for avoiding XP, they usually dissolve over time. After the initial transition, people start to see XP's value and believe in its practices. There are companies that specialize in helping developers through this transition; they might be worth considering if you feel there is too much resistance.

I l @ ve RuBoard

Extreme Programming for Web Projects
Extreme Programming for Web Projects
ISBN: 0201794276
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 95

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