Untapped Resources of Agility

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Last week I attended the first XP Day France, where I had been invited to give the keynote. We don't see many attendees from France at the European XP events, which is too bad, because the quality of the presentations was impressive. I'll be blogging separately about some of the things I learned.

We could all benefit by hearing more from these folks and I think they would also benefit from being part of the larger events. I hope some of the folks I heard speak here in Paris will turn up for XP2006. If language is an issue for some, I'd be glad to help.

Laurent Bossavit spearheaded the organization of this event with help from other members of the XP-France group. For more info about it check out the XP-France site. The group also has a French-language yahoo group.

A few highlights, limited necessarily to sessions I attended...

J.B. Rainsberger was the other North American present, as befitting the guy who has done so much for XP Days in the US and Canada. He spoke about common mistakes in implementing XP and also ran a workshop called The Truth about Testers and Programmers. Some very good ideas came out regarding the relationship between the two roles.

Regis Medina gave a talk on testing in larger system environments. For me the highlight was his demonstration of refactoring discrete unit tests to create a combined test driven by data. He did nothing but remove duplication and showed clearly that the two approaches are equivalent. His approach to testing components using a "sandwich" fixture that wraps the component provided - at least for me - a new way of looking at it.

Dominic Williams presented TDD in the environment of a functional language, ErLang. The similarity of the test-driven approach with the "case-driven" approach used in many functional programming environments was really striking. I want to think about this further. There's appears to be something to be said for the functional style, even when using an object-oriented language.

My own talk was on the subject of "Extreme Value" and was my first ever talk in French, at least since my university days. The audience was kind. The gist of the talk is that "extreme value" is the one kind of extremism that business has no problem with. It's the kind we should focus on when talking to them about XP. Time permitting, I'll put together and post an English version of this.


Hi, Till now I was unaware of NUNIT and today I installed it and trying to use and playaround.Its really nice.


TS, Friday, April 21, 2006