There are lots of certified masters and trainers programmes available for various Agile methodologies but it is extremely hard to find one for Extreme Programming (XP). You can get certified in any methodology in 3 days and claim to be a practitioner but claiming to be a good XP developer is extremely hard.
It takes a few years of dedicated practice in XP to get some mastery in XP be recognised as one by peers. It does not come with just knowing how to write stories, estimate and sequence them. The most distinguished feature of XP is its emphasis on developers and technical aspects of software development.
Most of the people I encounter have modified waterfall into mini waterfalls following super rigid plans but tracking on a weekly basis in the name of agile development without giving much thought to the technical aspects. This will not help in realising many of the goals that we set out to achieve. Also to improve the speed, work is usually allotted in silos thereby increasing dependency on people and reducing collaboration.
Try answering Yes or No to the following questions
- Do you do pair programming (May not be followed for simple straight forward tasks)?
- Can any developer in the team call for a huddle when stuck or when there is a need for a design discussion?
- Do you follow Test drive development (TDD)?
- Is your team’s CI sacred, no one breaks the build or if broken it comes back green soon?
- Do you do frequent commits/merges (short lived branches) to the master or do Trunk based development?
- Can anyone in the team question the quality of code?
- Does the team get together often to do mob code reviews or do some learning sessions on best practices?
- Is it easy for you to roll off or onboard developers at least once a quarter?
- Is there automation at all levels that people do not spend any time on recurring tasks?
- Does your team seems to be productive enough if they work only for 5 days a week?
- Is the team able to interact and negotiate on the stories with the Product owner during development?
The list above is not exhaustive but if there are questions that you have answered ‘No’ then you are not on the path to mastering XP.