Introduction to Extreme Programming

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Sound Values and Good Practices

Extreme Programming (XP) is simply a collection of Values and Practices that Kent Beck observed at work on good software development teams, but taken to their extremes and used in a coordinated way. Our book explains how these values and practices are applied in a small team as they transition to Extreme Programming using the tools provided by VSTS.


XP takes an incremental approach to software development through the execution of fixed length iterations that last weeks not months.

Characteristics of an XP Team

Teams adopting XP are expected to be self-organizing, which is to say they decide how and when their work is done. Therefore, there isn’t a prescribed process for them to follow. Instead they implement a process that fits the team and their project guided by the XP values and its various practices. It is characterized by:

  • Planning is performed throughout the project to reflect the changing needs of the business as well as the performance of the team
  • Analysis, design, coding and testing are part of everyone’s everyday activities rather being performed in specific phases
  • Acceptance that the design cannot be perfected before it is implemented, so the team starts with a very simple design which they then evolve
  • Rigorous structural and functional testing produce high quality software that provides real value to the business
  • Each iteration ends with software ready to be put into production so business people make decisions about when to release the product