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Re: What is a spike? (was Re: [XP] What objections have you heard to doing a spike?)

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  • Ron Jeffries
    Hello, Adrian. On Tuesday, October 2, 2007, at 10:07:59 AM, you ... I was taught by the inventor of the term, whom I may of course have misunderstood
    Message 1 of 36 , Oct 3, 2007
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      Hello, Adrian. On Tuesday, October 2, 2007, at 10:07:59 AM, you
      wrote:

      >> My guess is that the truly skilled person, if we could find one,
      >> does spikes all the time and almost never has to ask permission.

      > Yeah... that's sort of how I feel. The question is do you draw the
      > line between:
      > A) throwing a couple of lines of code away when your tests point you
      > in a new direction during TDD
      > B) throwing a days work away when the new UI library your playing
      > with turns out not to solve the problem you hoped it would

      > I would never call (A) a spike. I would definitely call (B) a spike.
      > The stuff in the middle - not so sure... which is where my "need to
      > ask the customer" line came from. I could have sworn that this was in
      > the book definition of spike too - but I was, as is often the case,
      > making things up :-)

      I was taught by the inventor of the term, whom I may of course have
      misunderstood entirely, that a spike was an experiment where one
      quickly blasts through all the levels of some problem, so as better
      to understand it and its solution.

      As such, I pull the notion out whenever I see alternatives (or no
      alternative) and need better understanding.

      I would try never to do a spike that took a whole day, because I've
      found that I can usually learn what I need to know in far less time
      than that. If a spike takes ten minutes, I think that's just fine.

      Ron Jeffries
      www.XProgramming.com
      Talent determines how fast you get good, not how good you get.
      -- Richard Gabriel
    • Adrian Howard
      On 3 Oct 2007, at 15:07, Ron Jeffries wrote: [snip] ... [snip] I m pretty sure your definition is more globally accepted than mine. I would imagine that I ve
      Message 36 of 36 , Oct 3, 2007
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        On 3 Oct 2007, at 15:07, Ron Jeffries wrote:
        [snip]
        > I was taught by the inventor of the term, whom I may of course have
        > misunderstood entirely, that a spike was an experiment where one
        > quickly blasts through all the levels of some problem, so as better
        > to understand it and its solution.
        >
        > As such, I pull the notion out whenever I see alternatives (or no
        > alternative) and need better understanding.
        >
        > I would try never to do a spike that took a whole day, because I've
        > found that I can usually learn what I need to know in far less time
        > than that. If a spike takes ten minutes, I think that's just fine.
        [snip]

        I'm pretty sure your definition is more globally accepted than mine.
        I would imagine that I've moved from the book definition to mine over
        the years. Silly me.

        Now I think of it - my experimental stories should just be called...
        stories. That's how we treat them after all.

        Adrian (feeling especially dim this week :)
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