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35095Re: [XP] Place for rarified skills?

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  • wecaputo@thoughtworks.com
    Oct 1, 2001
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      David Abrahams:
      >I thought XP was largely about pragmatism.

      It is, don't let the incessant off-topic holy war mongers here get to you ;
      -) It helps if you think of such troll-like comments as people trying to
      say something along the lines of "XP is easier to apply in some languages,
      than in others." I would agree with that statement.

      However, it isn't a very interesting or practical discussion topic (IMHO)
      as the reality of many organizations, and individuals, is that they aren't
      only using the "easier to do XP" languages. And before anyone goes asking
      which ones they are, I suggest they look at the archives, there's only
      about 215 threads on the topic.

      >Part of what I'm referring to here has
      >nothing to do with languages: it's simply the application of good old
      >Computer Science. If I have to use the NFA-to-DFA construction, or
      >dijkstra's algorithm, I'm already speaking a language that the average
      >programmer doesn't seem to grasp.

      This is the more interesting question IMO, and the answer (to summarize the
      thread) is:

      1) In XP we strive for simplicity[1] and clarity. So the first response one
      gets here is a question: "Can the task be completed without putting on the
      star and moon hat?"
      2) If the answer is no, then the second response is: "Use spikes to explore
      the concepts further and find TSTTCPW[2] (we still want this, even if the
      answer is outside the experience of the average programmer)
      3) Then the response moves along to: "We are still responsible to the team
      for communicating the rationale behind the decision. Whether the spike was
      done alone or as a pair, the implementation of the solution (still
      scheduled as a task to a story) should be paired. Regular interest,
      communication, Unit testing, and refactoring rules still apply."
      4) The next part of the response is: "Having such expertise on an XP
      project is very important, but not at the expense of team, and learning
      values." -- IOW knowledge bigots need not apply.
      5) The final part is: "One person's wizardry is another's "Good old CS".
      Good design is emergent in XP, not eliminated. Every technique has its
      place. We are encouraged to oversimplify in the hopes that we can get away
      with it but, as always let the code, the requirements, and the team tell
      you what is "simplest".

      [1] The rules for simplicty (lots of threads here and at the wiki
      discussing this too):

      [2] The Simplest Thing That Can Possibly Work

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