Extreme programming (XP) is a highly specialized programming technique towards software development. It complies with certain defined standards in the various stages of the software development cycle and the code of conduct for members of the developer team. This approach was designed by Kent Beck in 1990s. XP is often used as an acronym for Extreme Programming. It is in tune with agile software development.
Why Should You Adopt Extreme Programming?
Extreme programming guarantees a supreme quality software product as well as rich software development experience for the developer team. It keeps a track of how well the software product satisfies the needs of customers. The approach aspires to keep the development phase highly productive and cost effective.
Extreme Programming Tasks
- Coding: Code is at the heart of any software. Better the code, better is the responsiveness to input. Coding can be in Java, C, PHP etc. depending on the purpose, user preferences, programmer preferences, existing legacy code etc. Coding might or might not follow any software designs such as Object Oriented Programming, Code Refactoring, Iterative and Incremental Development, Waterfall Design etc.
- Testing: First things first. Testing is not a necessity in mere output generation. But unless one is dead sure of clean and correct
code, testing becomes a crucial phase in every software engineering task. Various testing models used in extreme programming are Unit Testing, Black-box Testing, Regression Testing etc.
- Listening: In this phase programmers are required to deeply understand the user need either face to face or through documents. Care must be taken to provide all the functional and non functional customer requirements.
- Designing: Again, output can be generated with any designing strategy. But for quality assurance, extreme engineering embraces many software engineering designs to guide the programmers to write the quality code. Proper designing guarantees minimal functional dependencies, zero code redundancy, modularity, code maintainability and software extensibility.
- Simplicity: Extreme programming suggests simplicity in every phase of software development process. Being simple is actually not simple enough that it can be ignored. One way to stick to simplicity is focusing on the essential components rather than providing added functionality which can be done at a later stage.
Values in Extreme Programming
- Communication: Misunderstanding and communication gap between the clients and developer team can ruin the entire project. The developers should get a crystal clear idea of all the project elements and how they interface with each other. Professionally, this is done through face to face discussion with the end users and also by using well documented user requirements.
- Feedback: Even after getting all the code and design correct, a project cannot receive a green signal unless it gives the desired result and satisfies the customer. This is done through a feedback process from the software before delivery, from all the developers and from the customer.
- Courage: Courage for developers is the courage to chuck away the code even if they are in the middle of the project. A flaw may even require you to change the complete architecture of the software and start all over again.
Extreme Programming Practices
Extreme programming follows certain well experimented and widely accepted software development practices such as Refactoring, Pair Programming, Planning Game, Metaphor, Customer Onsite etc.
Pair Programming suggests two programmers to work on a terminal. Both first discuss and then one types the code and other keeps a bird’s eye view of the code written so far.
Refactoring is the task of internally upgrading already written pieces of code without affecting their output or functionality.
System Metaphor is an easy description of the project elements and workflows understood by everybody related to the project.