In the rocket-fast late 90s, I struggled with using traditional software process and testing practices on e-commerce applications. Then I read Kent Beck’s Extreme Programming Explained and had an amazing ‘aha’ moment. Ron Jeffries sums it up best: Extreme Programming is a discipline of software development based on values of simplicity, communication, feedback, and courage. It works by bringing the whole team together in the presence of simple practices, with enough feedback to enable the team to see where they are and to tune the practices to their unique situation. (www.xprogramming.com)
Applying more discipline to traditional waterfall process had not helped my team. A new kind of discipline based on values such as communication, simplicity and feedback might be the answer! I immediately took an opportunity to join an XP team as a tester, and enjoyed working on XP teams for the next 18 months. Indeed, XP did allow us to produce high-quality e-commerce applications on time and on budget! Our customers were happy! We were happy! We struggled some with how I, as tester, could best contribute to the team, as the XP literature at the time didn’t say much on that subject. With the whole team focused on quality and testing, we came up with some great solutions. I was so excited about XP testing that I co-authored a book on it (Testing Extreme Programming, with Tip House).