eXtreme Programming Is Not Agile!

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In the course of my blogging, I’ve often come across comments or other bloggers talking about XP (eXtreme Programming) as though it *is* agile.

Truth is, XP is Agile, but Agile is not XP…

Although I like a lot of the concepts in eXtreme Programming, whether or not you use XP practices does not define whether or not you are doing agile development.

It’s quite feasible that you’re not doing Test Driven Development. That you’re not doing Automated Unit Testing. That you’re not doing Pair Programming. And that you’re absolutely doing agile development.

Agile development is a set of values and principles. And eXtreme Programming is just one of the agile methodologies that supports these principles.

People using Scrum are doing agile. People using DSDM are doing agile. People using ‘home-made’ forms of iterative, incremental, collaborative development are doing agile. To a greater or lesser extent, I admit, and with a different emphasis. But they are certainly ‘doing agile’.

eXtreme Programming, whilst one of the more popular forms of agile development, is only one form of agile development. And as it’s name suggests, it is probably the most extreme. ‘Milder’ forms of agile can be equally beneficial, and should not be dismissed as ‘not agile’.


Photo by grisei