XP Day Germany in Hamburg is over. I was quite nervous about it since it does not happen too often that I’m being invited to give a keynote on any topic I like. So I sat back and reminisced about my former life as an Extreme Programming enthusiast.
Don’t get me wrong: I still do think that XP is the underestimated jewel among the better known agile methodologies. During recent years, however, my enthusiasm was replaced by a feeling along the line “XP is too good for this world”. Sometimes the “too good” felt more like “too difficult for most organizations and teams”. I felt this kind of disillusionment to be rather wide-spread – at least within the German community, of which many members are meanwhile content to be mere “agilists” instead of “extremos”.
So I tried to put all whining aside and concentrate on how to bring passion back into Extreme Programming. My points were basically threefold:
- XP has to change because the world of software is changing at light speed. Technological explosion and the inevitable advance of multi-site development are just two indicators for that fact.
- As XP practitioners we have to concentrate on the human (and humane) side of system building to be successful. We must become the cream of the crop of change agents.
- Let’s restart to be extreme. Just saying what we think is right won’t be enough, we have to live up to our beliefs.
In short, I don’t think it’s enough to be agile. You can listen to the full talk and see the slides on this screencast. Be warned: it’s in German and sound quality is not as good as it should be.