Extreme Programming Values

In reading about Intentional Programming I read the following passage in an introduction by Charles Simonyi (offline, but available here; through the Wayback Machine):

Common sense management always has had as one of its basic tenets: do not just tell people “what”, tell them also “why”! This advice is useful because the “why” information is more invariant with respect to unforeseen changes in the environment, than the “what” information. Compare: “Take this letter to the post office and mail it registered” with: “Make sure that this document reaches its adressee”. Clearly the second invariance would be easier to fulfill if one encountered a traffic jam on the way to the post office.

I associated this with Extreme Programming and its values; it doesn’t matter that much what you’re doing as long as you act according to the values – that is, according to the “why” as opposed to the “what” (or “how”). Depending on the environment, some things in XP might not work as good, so in those cases: Go back to the “why” behind what the XP books say about the practice in question, and act according to that “why” (and the values).

The above was posted to my personal weblog on June 13, 2002. My name is Peter Lindberg and I am a thirtysomething software developer and dad living in Stockholm, Sweden. Here, you’ll find posts in English and Swedish about whatever happens to interest me for the moment.

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