Developers approach extreme programming cautiously

As corporations struggle to complete application development projects on time, within budget and without lots of buggy code, they're taking a closer look at new development methods, such as extreme programming.

While interest is growing within the ranks, attendees at the Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications 2001 conference here said most companies are taking a piecemeal approach to using developer-driven techniques, such as extreme programming and agile modeling, instead of implementing them entirely.

Programmer Kent Beck developed the extreme programming methodology five years ago while serving as the project leader on Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation, a long-term project to rewrite Chrysler Corp.'s payroll application.

Today, Stuttgart, Germany-based DaimlerChrysler AG still uses extreme programming within several application development groups in the U.S. and Germany, said Christian Wege, portal and Web application architect at the automaker.

A la Carte Approach

But Wege said DaimlerChrysler emphasized just a few extreme programming approaches, such as unit testing and conducting frequent code reviews. Other tenets, such as pair programming, usually aren't implemented because most development teams are dispersed and application development is often outsourced, according to Wege.

Still, corporations are increasingly turning to new techniques to make the most of smaller development teams and to contend with more complex, distributed applications, said Chris Dial, an analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc.

"For new types of applications like Web services, the demand for well-structured code increases, and it's not possible to cut corners on design," said Dial.

New York-based entertainment channel Noggin LLC adhered to extreme programming techniques when it recently launched an interactive Web site that ties into the taping of its shows. The project was managed by CodeFab Inc., a New York-based development shop.

"We kept breaking [the project] down into many smaller projects," said Kenny Miller, vice president of programming and production at Noggin. "My fear was that the project would collapse under its own weight. [Extreme programming] allowed us to make incremental progress."

IT managers and developers are less certain of the degree to which they will follow each tenet of the new development methodologies.

Motorola Inc., for example, has used parts of extreme programming in some of its development organization but found that it wasn't useful for global development projects, said Ron Crocker, senior technical architect at the Schaumburg, Ill.-based company. "[Extreme programming] values small teams, and that's not always possible," he said.

But some developers say full-throttle extreme programming will drive higher quality and more rapid application development.

"The problem with [extreme programming] is the name," said James Knox, an independent development consultant in Ottawa. "After a lot of managers hear the name, it's downhill from there, and they get turned off," citing the word extreme as radical.

Knox said "there was zero management support" for extreme programming at his previous employer, so he struck out on his own to develop projects using the methodology.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lee Copeland

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?