Get Extreme (Part 2)

Extreme Programming, or XP, is a software development approach built on the premise that, when done right, the cost of changing software is constant. In other words, implementing a feature today will not be cheaper then implementing it in the next release. It's therefore not critical (nor realistic) that your team designs the perfect system in its first iteration.

Kent Beck, the creator of XP, introduced the process as a collection of 12 fundamental practices. Few of these practices are new, but collectively, they reinforce each other and allow you to deliver systems on time, according to specs, within budget and, more importantly, maintain a constant cost of change.

Part 1 looked at the first half of the practices, and the conclusion of this two-part article briefly explains the remaining 6 fundamental practices.

Practice #7: Agree on Coding Standards

Adopt or develop coding standards to help designers understand each other's code and simplify refactoring. Many designers rewrite their peer's code because they don't like the location of curly braces or indentation. Following coding standards will eliminate such wasted refactoring effort.

If standards already exist for a given programming language, adopt it. If not, develop your own. Start with simple rules such as the placement of braces, indentation and length of lines. Then move on to the naming of methods and …

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"We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away."

- ChuangTzu

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