XP inventor talks about agile programming

Kent Beck touts shorter development cycles and says agile methods can detect unworkable software projects quicker

What about Java versus .Net? Does that factor into agile and XP at all, or does it really not matter?

The more the technology platform lets you make changes at a low cost for a longer time, the better suited it is for agile development.

So how does that fit in with say Java versus .Net, or does it not really matter?

I don't think either platform was built with sustainable ease of change as a primary design criteria. That's the sense that I have.

Is that something that's important in agile programming?

Yes, that's what you need in a technology.... That really helps in a technology platform. My dad was doing most of the technical side of agile development, programming microcontrollers in assembly language. He had automated tests, he did incremental design, he had small frequent releases, and he wrote rock-solid code.

Can you use agile methodologies with Java and .Net, or is there another language that would be preferred?

You certainly can do it with Java and .Net.

What about scripting languages techniques like AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), Ruby, and PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor)? Do they fit into the agile paradigm at all?

Sure. Ruby, for example, comes from this tradition of human-centric languages. And you could write Ruby in a style that's very maintainable, that's easy to change for a long time. I worry when you get to the database, [I think] that change suddenly becomes harder.

With Ruby?

With relational databases in general. But the agile community is coming up with techniques to deal with that. And the vendors are catching on that that's a differentiator, to have databases that accept incremental change.

What about Web development? Is that particularly tuned for agile development, or is it just another application area?

One of the great things about Web development is that deployment is cheap. And if you're doing deployments all the time, it's great to be able to just push to a handful of servers and you're done. As opposed to the embattled days of having to burn CDs and send them out. That's hugely expensive to do deployments. But if you can just push a button, write disk images to your server farm, and you're finished, then you have daily deployments or multiple times of day, even, deployments are technically feasible, although you have to work pretty hard to get the reliability of the software to where you can do that. But it's feasible.

Was there anything else you wanted to bring up?

Well, I completely dodged your question about the Agile Manifesto, and I didn't mean to, but I'm also not quite sure what to say about it.

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Paul Krill

InfoWorld
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