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Re: [XP] XP for a school project?

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  • Paul Jenkins
    and, forgive me, Adam. The first line in my last post was the pits; absolutley did not mean to suggest that you, or indeed anyone, working at uni was not in
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 11, 2005
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      and, forgive me, Adam. The first line in my last post was the pits;

      absolutley did not mean to suggest that you, or indeed anyone, working at
      uni was not in 'the real world' - that was completly condescending, and not
      what I meant at all.

      Lesson 1: - put brain_in_gear before engaging fingers_on_keyboard



      >From: Adam Carter <a.carter@...>
      >Reply-To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
      >To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: Re: [XP] XP for a school project?
      >Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 20:20:50 +1000
      >My degree has a heavy focus on XP and agile development during its
      >courses and attempts to use XP during our studio process.
      >On Tue, 2005-03-01 at 09:41 -0500, Ken Chien wrote:
      > >
      > > This might be a silly question, but for a school project, should one
      > > obtain user stories from the professor?
      >In the experiance I had at the University of Queensland the students had
      >to be both the customers and the developers. EG They would design a
      >product and then find a development team that wanted to build it, while
      >developing a product for a third party. From a students perspective I am
      >surprised that it works as well as it does, maybe this is because the
      >degree I am doing mostly focuses on being a design degree first up and
      >coders second.
      >The advantage of this style is that everybody gets to be the customer
      >(which is valuable) and everybody gets to be a developer (which is
      >crucial) and everybody is doing different stuff, so collusion is basicly
      >a mute point. Not to mention at the end of semester it is really fun to
      >see what everybody else has made.
      > > I want to use XP practices on
      > > my school project (an online travel reservation system, using J2EE)
      > > but many of the practices may be hard to implement/practice. How
      > > would we go about paired programming? (Kind of difficult when
      > > everyone works full time.)
      >Pair programming is probably the most resisted feature of XP I have seen
      >at uni. I believe this comes from two major areas:
      >A, people management; in the real world people are supposed to rock up
      >at a certian time and go home at another defined time. At uni, people
      >are doing a bunch of subjects and probably working on the side. Getting
      >two (or more) people all together can be painful at best.
      >B, Some people are scumbags: In an XP like setting some people end up
      >carrying the load of a looser who shouldn't be there. In the real world
      >you can often fire the looser, while at uni all you can do is cry about
      >it. Even if this isn't true, and it is only a perception, it does have a
      >drastic effect on the way teams are formed for XP projects. Basicly all
      >of the hard working students immediatly all pair (group) up leaving
      >everybody else to random pick up groups, assuming that you give them the
      >option of doing so.
      > > I've persuaded the team (after many
      > > emails, discussions, etc.) to use JUnit, but I'm not so sure they
      > > understand TDD.
      >That is only going to work if all of the group mates agree to actually
      >do it :)
      > >
      > > Does anyone have experience using XP in a university setting?
      > >From a non student point of view my experiance is very limited :) Most
      >of the academic work I have done has been mostly individual efforts that
      >are absorbed by the team.
      > >From a students point of view it can be a mixed blessing. If you get a
      >good team with a good creative project then focusing on XP can be great,
      >if you get crap teams and/or crap groups then it is very hard to stop
      >projects spiraling out of control.
      >A good example of team and a project that wasn't good for them was last
      >year in a studio subject the students were deciding to create a hybrid
      >physical/digital game using Java, J2ME and Bluetooth enabled phones
      >(they sure regret the Bluetooth on phones). The team had some real
      >talented ex-engineering students, some realy gifted students and a
      >couple of students who should never have been allowed into the degree to
      >begin with.
      >The team stalled for a very long time (in a subject were stalling is
      >bad) as the best group mates were paired up with the very worst of the
      >group which basicly nulled each other out. I mean the gifted programmers
      >were at the best acting as tutors who didn't get paid, and at the worst
      >were teaching students basic programming techniques (like the meaning of
      >the 'if' and 'else' keywords.
      >Eventually the team decided to risk the loss of points for not working
      >as a team and just ignored the deadweight. All in all the remaining team
      >burned out and some almost dropped the degree.
      >In a normal team project they would have just dropped the deadweight
      >members up front and just worked a little harder for 13 weeks, instead
      >of the massive effort they put in in the final stages of the production.
      >So, in summary, XP at uni can be awesome if you groups are good groups,
      >although many groups will just claim to have done XP and ignore it. It
      >can also be very, very bad.
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