Boston Linux & UNIX was originally founded in 1994 as part of The Boston Computer Society. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Building E51.

Extreme Programming: One Team's Experience

Date and Time

Wednesday, January 21, 2004 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm


MIT Building 4-163


Nancy Van Schooenderwoert - vanschoo rcn com


An overview of Extreme Programming


This talk gives an account "from the trenches" of how and why a software team changed over to Extreme Programming, with emphasis on the issues developers faced: tools, requirements changes, lack of management support. Nancy took the initiative to move her team to XP, in an organizational setting that tended to be slow-moving and bureaucratic. With no expert mentoring, mistakes were made but what mattered was the ability to "get back on the wagon" each time. The team was able to deliver 9 out of 10 releases on time, consistently after moving to XP. XP had the effect of training each developer to become a good estimator. Quality was not sacrificed to achieve schedule performance - in fact high quality helped the team to go fast. What *did* get sacrificed was unnecessary artifacts, and feature bloat. Metrics that were recorded over three years of development will also be presented. This link provides a brief introduction to XP for those who are unfamiliar with it.


Nancy Van Schooenderwoert has extensive experience in large scale real-time systems for flight simulation and ship sonars where she held positions in electrical engineering, systems engineering, and software engineering, as well as test design. She brings this systems perspective to her current work in XP Coaching for real-time and embedded systems. Her experience includes software development for safety-critical applications such as factory machine control and medical devices. Having seen the problems fostered by a "Hero" approach to software development she became convinced that a team approach is the best way to build reliable systems efficiently. Her recent work involved leading a team to build embedded software for a scientific instrument. She used Extreme Programming (XP) successfully and is working on a paper to detail the software metrics that were collected over 3 years of this development effort. She is a Founder, Extreme Programmer & Coach at XP Embedded Co., based in Lexington, MA. She is interested in the issues of technical management, especially the dynamics of team empowerment. Other interests include recreational mathematics especially nonperiodic tilings, and  inventing games. She will soon be publishing a game based on penrose tilings. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology.


  1. Extreme Programming: A gentle introduction

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /