We conclude the main portion of the re-read of Extreme Programing Explained, Second Edition (2005) with Chapters 24 and 25. Next week will present a few final thoughts before we shift gears and start reading The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (if you do not own a copy, it is time to order one – use the link to support the blog and podcast). This week in XP Explained; Chapter 24 discusses the value of community as an asset to support the adoption and use of XP. Chapter 25 is Beck and Andres’s concluding notes on XP Explained.
Chapter 24: Community and XP
A supportive community is a huge asset for XP practitioners (this true for any profession or movement). Communities provide a mechanism for people interested in XP to connect, encourage each other and share ideas and experiences. The power of a community is generated by the interchange between people in a way that helps both the individuals and the group to achieve their goals. Finding and getting involved in a community can be as easy as getting involved or forming a community of practice within your organization or reaching out to one of the XP online communities.
Beck counsels that the role of a community member should be weighted towards the act of listening rather than talking. Listening is the combination of hearing and interpreting. Listening helps new members to learn how a community works before jumping in with both feet. Listening also helps members to understand who will be helpful and who just talks to hear their own voice. Listening is just as powerful tool for community members as it is for those involved in coaching and facilitating learning. If you embrace the ‘listen first, talk second’ rule then communities have value to any individual if he or she participates.
One final note, communities provide a mechanism for enforcing accountability between members. Promises to people that you have close ties with are more difficult to break. Mastermind groups are a common example of a community that builds in holding members responsible.
Chapter 25: Conclusion
Beck states that he created/documented XP to make life better for developers. One main takeaway from the re-read is that there can be no improvement without first improving yourself (we will explore final thoughts more next week).
Beck concludes that XP is more of statement about creating a balance of true values and integrity, and less about the practices and techniques that move you down the path of practicing XP. The books end with the quote:
“XP is a way of thinking about and acting on your ideals.”
Previous installments of Extreme Programing Explained, Second Edition (2005) on Re-read Saturday:
Remember we are going to read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni next. This will be a new book for me; therefore an initial read, not a re-read! Steven Adams suggested the book and it has been on my list for a few years. Click the link (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team), buy a copy, and in a few weeks, we will begin to read the book together.