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Place for rarified skills?

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  • David Abrahams
    In http://groups.yahoo.com/group/extremeprogramming/message/35000 James Goebel wrote: If as a business person I can only have my well designed system
    Message 1 of 50 , Sep 30, 2001
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      In http://groups.yahoo.com/group/extremeprogramming/message/35000 James
      Goebel wrote:

      If as a business person I can only have my "well designed"
      system maintained by the most talented (and expensive)
      programmers then the team has failed to deliver quality code.

      I've been thinking about where I'd fit into an XP environment, or how agile
      processes could fit into the kind of work I do. The quote above really
      struck me personally, since
      a. It rings true
      b. Any job which really exploits my abilities is likely to result in at
      least some rarified code.

      As much as I wish it were otherwise, generic programming and template
      metaprogramming are hardly "lingua franca" among C++ programmers. Those
      skills are best applied in environments where flexibility and maximum
      performance are both required. Also, I enjoy solving difficult problems --
      often arriving at a solution requires exploiting concepts and techniques
      outside the knowledge of mainstream programmers.

      I have never had the privilege of doing XP, though even for my kind of work,
      many of the practices seem like they would be of huge benefit. In my last
      job, we did lots of pair programming (which worked out well for me, since I
      thrive on a collaborative process).

      So, I'm wondering whether there are experiences of adapting agile processes
      to environments where research, as well as development, is needed. If your
      project requires at least some code which solves difficult problems with
      techniques possibly outside the mainstream, do you/can you integrate the
      author(s) into the XP process, or do they end up isolated? What about groups
      where everyone, or most people, need to work at that level? Is XP useless
      there? It seems to me as though some variant could be applied.

      Thanks,
      Dave

      ===================================================
      David Abrahams, C++ library designer for hire
      resume: http://users.rcn.com/abrahams/resume.html

      C++ Booster (http://www.boost.org)
      email: david.abrahams@...
      ===================================================
    • Darren Hobbs
      ... We ve just installed a wiki as the basis for a team intranet / knowledgebase / project discussion forum. We re still in the germination/evangelisation
      Message 50 of 50 , Nov 13, 2001
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        --- In extremeprogramming@y..., kevinxp@q... wrote:
        > --- In extremeprogramming@y..., Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@a...>
        wrote:
        > > Please, if you have time, tell me of the ways your team deviates
        > > from "pure XP" as you understand it. I'm especially interested in
        > > things involving software tools, wikis, scanners, NetMeeting, and
        > > the like.
        >
        > ...(snipped)...
        >
        > We considered a wiki, but our intranet isn't set up to host one
        > right now, and it didn't seem worth it to select, learn, and
        > install one. So we did the simplest thing (Word).
        >
        > Kevin
        We've just installed a wiki as the basis for a team intranet /
        knowledgebase / project discussion forum. We're still in
        the 'germination/evangelisation' stage (ie. there's not much on it
        yet, so only one or two people are actively using and adding to it).
        The initial feedback has been good and people are starting to use it
        without being prompted. It works well as an intranet as we're all
        too busy to craft HTML pages and keep them up to date, but typing a
        few lines into a wiki takes moments. The system we use is TWiki
        (www.twiki.org), which runs on apache and uses RCS to give us a bit
        more safety with regard to changing content. It also warns if two
        people try to change the same page within a certain time period to
        flag potential edit conflicts.

        A wiki works well as an alternative to long email threads when the
        subject under discussion has relevance to the whole team. Its also a
        handy repository for feasibility documents and articles written about
        individual projects.

        -Darren
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