Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Extreme Programming in Action

Extreme Programming has become more "mainstream" in the Indian software industry over the past couple of years. For many companies their agile development practices have provided a reason to brag and to attract recruits. One of my friends works for such a company and recently narrated an incident highlighting how "XP" is used in his workplace. I thought I should share it with the rest of the world to provide another perspective on how XP is actually used in Bangalore.

The specific case involved a particular task which came up for development. One of the developers said that it would take him 2 days to finish the task while another thought he could complete it in 3 days. A third predicted four days if he were to do the task. The team leader heard them all out and proceeded to *assign* the task to the third guy. If you are thinking "that's not how it is done in XP" - wait, the best is yet to come. The "leader" expected the "assigned" developer to finish the task in 2 days!

From what I heard the practice is not only widespread in the said organisation but some managers actually *coach* sceptical newcomers to believe that this "auction model" is a core tenet of XP. Those who disagreed are reprimanded for unwillingness to adhere to XP.

The next time someone from this place says "we follow XP" I am going to burst a gut laughing :)

1 comment:

James said...

sounds like the old Soviet practice of having an outstanding individual setting the target standards for all the rest..which of course no one else can match so then the books have to be "fiddled" to look good..what about programmers being given adequate intellectual space for the creative process?