Extreme Programming (XP): What Is It? How Does It Work?

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Trinh Nguyen

2022-06-08 10:20:48

gct solution extreme programming xp software development

Extreme Programming, or XP, is a part of software development life cycle (SDLC). This model is popular among small and medium IT companies. Let’s take a look and see why this model has gained such reputation! 


What is XP - Extreme Programing?

XP is a software development methodology. The purposes of XP are to allow software development teams to produce high-quality software and adapt to evolving, changing requirements. 


XP focuses on the technical aspects of software development. It is precise about how developers work since strict principles and practices allow teams to deliver high-quality code at a sustainable pace. 


The main focus of XP 

  • Improvement: Teams aim at a sufficient first implementation rather than perfection. Then they learn and improve it day by day based on feedback from the team itself or real users. 

  • Reflection: All team members review their work and find ways to improve. XP encourages everyday review, not only weekly and quarterly one. 

  • Tiny steps: XP reduces the risk of large changes by making little modifications at all levels. Developers, with test-driven development, write code in small steps. Instead of once every few weeks or months, they merge their work to the system several times every day. The project is broken down into small phases rather than big periods. 

  • Feedback: Feedback in XP must be quick and constant. If there is a need to modify, the team wants to know as soon as possible. Feedback can vary from evaluation, review or idea. Everybody can give feedback: clients, users, or team members. 



Steps of XP 

1. Planning 

The client meets the software development team and presents the requirements and the desired result. The team then estimates the work and outlines a plan. It is then broken down into iterations needed to cover the required functionality. If some parts can’t be estimated, the team needs to take note and carry out further research. 


2. Designing  

When sketching the design of the software, the team always emphasizes simplicity. A good design brings logic and structure to the system, as well as allows to avoid unnecessary complexities and redundancies. 


3. Coding  

After outlining logic and structure, the actual code is created. The team implements specific XP practices such as coding standards, pair programming, continuous integration, and collective code ownership. 


4. Testing  

This stage is the core of XP. It's a routine activity that includes both unit tests (automatic testing to see if the generated feature works) and acceptance tests (client testing to make sure that the overall system meets their requirements). 


5. Listening  

Constant communication and feedback are necessary in XP. The clients, project managers, team members, and even real users, are involved to describe the values and outcomes that are expected. 


Read more: 8 Software Development Models You Can Apply To IT Projects


Of course, there are other approaches used in project planning, such as Kanban or Scrum, and you can choose one based on your needs.  

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