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Too Many cooks in the kitchen. When is too many developers one project a bad idea?

So I had the chance to meet with some friends the other day.AgileCrapDevelopement Of course they work as developers like me. They work for one of those companies with allot of money to throw at a web site (a == 1). I found it interesting having 20 developers writing code for a web site. They called it Agile programming or Extreme Programming (Developer Humping). The reason I  called it this was as they (my friends) described agile as two developers sit in a cubicle(but of course no office unless your management right?) one developer coded while the other sat behind him correcting his mistakes.

So what bothered me most was having another developer watching over your shoulder as you coded. Like what the hell. How is that environment inviting to any developer? So here is my way of disgracing this habit as well as promoting it I guess.

Disgracing:

1. Cost is way more than your ROI (Return of Investment) on any project (yes I will argue this.)

2. It is said this type (Developer Humping) of development is good for the customer. what? how does that translate?

3. Somehow Projects get done faster? (wow I could argue that all day.) This goes back to the too many cooks in the kitchen mentality.

Promoting:

1. Both developers learn quick and bounce ideas off of each other.

2. Micro management of developers is much easier.

So in theory if your company has the money to spend tons of money on 2 developers per cubie(cubicle for those not in cubicles) and developing for 1 web site good on you. Truly in my humble opinion Agile development should be used for large “Software” companies with budgets for multiple projects.

This is what our friends at Wikipedia had to say:

Extreme Programming (or XP) is a software engineering methodology (and a form of agile software development)[1][2][3] prescribing a set of daily stakeholder practices that embody and encourage particular XP values (below). Proponents believe that exercising these practices—traditional software engineering practices taken to so-called "extreme" levels—leads to a development process that is more responsive to customer needs ("agile") than traditional methods, while creating software of better quality.

So why do I seem against this type of development? I guess I am not all that much impressed with it. I love team development. I truly encourage it. I am not of the mind “put a developer in a closet with pizza and a coke and leave him/her be”. I however like my space and love to collaborate with my fellow developers on multiple projects.

Currently I work on multiple web sites at the same time. I like to call it the shotgun development method. I work with 2 other excellent web developers. One is front end (the famous joe) his code is second to none. Then I work with new guy Bryan (still waiting on a blog bryan) who is the C# guru. We all have our pieces of the projects we work on. This is a great work environment. Typically called the Waterfall method.

No developer humping here just straight work hard and enjoy the team work involved.

 

Let me know how you feel.

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Posted on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 6:39 AM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Developer Humping or Extreme Programming

# re: Developer Humping or Extreme Programming
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I have not witnessed the long term benefit of co-development. I have enjoyed short stints 1-2 days of working on a particular issue that was great with 2 people. The caveat is that I truly trusted the individual's coding style and knowledge of developing good applications.

I also worked with less skilled individuals to 'train' them in how to think more quickly on their feet and how to debug with mixed results. The project I referred to above was great because we were different enough (I liked to type and he didn't) that it worked well.

At one time, a company I worked for wanted to make it a de-facto standard for certain types of projects. It did not materialize because the waterfall kept pooling around us and we had to swim feverishly to keep up.

rusty
Left by rusty on Sep 03, 2008 11:48 AM

# re: Developer Humping or Extreme Programming
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Rusty,
Thank you for your feedback on this. I too have had and enjoy at times having other developers work along side me. Especially when I can't see the forest for the trees if you get what I mean. I really appreciate your feedback.
Thanks,
Mike
Left by mikedopp on Sep 03, 2008 12:14 PM

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