Joshua Kerievsky Founder, Programmer Industrial Logic, Inc. 3640 Fillmore, Suite 206 San Francisco, CA 94123 +1 415 292 6266 Joshua@industriallogic.com
ABSTRACT Continuous learning is part of eXtreme Programming’s spirit, implied in its values, and implemented, to a certain extent, in its practices. I’ve learned that to be really good at XP, teams can go even further with their practice of continuous learning. In this paper I describe specific continuous learning tools, including learning repositories, study groups and iteration retrospectives, which apply to programmers, coaches and entire XP teams. Keywords Learning, continuous learning, learning repository, study groups, retrospectives, iteration retrospectives. 1 INTRODUCTION The spirit of continuous learning is at the heart of eXtreme Programming. Customers and developers learn continuously from iteration planning; developers learn continuously from pairing, swapping pairs, testing and refactoring; coaches learn continuously by communicating with everyone; and entire teams learn continuously from feedback generated by the XP process. Thus, while continuous learning isn’t a stated value or practice of XP, it is inherent to XP. In practice, this means that XP teams and individuals on those teams gradually learn and improve. Experiencing the pace of these learnings led me to look for ways to shorten the learning curve. I discovered that by using a few powerful learning tools, a team could improve at a much faster rate. These tools include using a learning repository and conducting regular technical study groups and iteration retrospectives. 2 TEAMS TAKE LEARNING FOR GRANTED Since continuous learning isn’t an articulated value or practice, customers and developers often take learning for granted. It’s something that is just supposed to happen.
You might imagine that if a team truly appreciates the XP values of Feedback and Communication, then continuous learning will result. But in... [continues]
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