Extreme Programming: A Complete Guide

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17th Apr, 2023
Extreme Programming: A Complete Guide

Customer satisfaction is emphasized in extreme programming, which makes it effective. Using this approach, you get the software you need on time instead of being delivered on a distant date. Extreme Programming gives developers the confidence to adapt to changing customer requirements even late in the development cycle.

Because of its quick and effective results, XP extreme programming is a popular platform. This article includes when and how to use it, its advantages and disadvantages, values, roles, and many more. As XP is also an agile methodology, it manages projects by breaking them into different phases. It also involves constant collaboration with stockholders. Once their work cycle begins, they must plan, execute and evaluate. Enroll in Programming training and learn further about extreme programming.

What is Extreme Programming? 

XP (Extreme Programming) is an agile software development method that aims to develop better-quality software and a more pleasant working environment. Software development practices within the XP framework are the most specific among agile frameworks. 

It was first implemented on a project on March 6, 1996, for a smoother and more efficient software development life cycle (SDLC). XP was later introduced by an engineer named Ken Beck in the 1990s as a way to write quality software quickly and adapt to changing customer requirements. Additionally, he improved XP methods in the book Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change, published in 1999.

It emphasizes teamwork by involving managers, clients, and developers on an equal footing in a cooperative team. While performing the practices (as XP practices are a set of engineering practices), developers must go beyond their capabilities. That is where the word "extreme" in the framework's name comes from. We'll start by describing the lifecycle of XP and the roles involved in the process so that you can better understand these practices.  

When to Use Extreme Programming? 

Problem domains with shifting requirements prompted the development of Extreme Programming (XP). Your clients may be unsure of what the system should accomplish. You might have a system whose operation is anticipated to change regularly. The only constant in many software environments is the dynamic Change of requirements. At this point, XP will prevail while other approaches fail. There are other situations, too, when we need to use an extreme programming methodology. Some of them are:  

  • Risky Projects: The XP practices were developed to address the issues associated with project risk and to increase the likelihood of success. 
  • Small Teams: XP is designed for programming teams of a few people. We should point out that small teams of XP programmers may be more productive than large ones that are more efficient and require less time to conduct meetings and brainstorming sessions.  
  • Automated Testing: You must be able to develop automated unit and functional tests, which is another requirement.  
  • Acceptance of New Cultures and Knowledge: XP differs from conventional software development methods because some of its practices may not be immediately apparent. Therefore, your company and team members must be prepared to accept Change.  

Pros and Cons of Extreme Programming 

There are several extreme programming advantages and disadvantages. It is beneficial because it helps to reduce development time and cost. But on the other hand, it has cons you must consider while deciding the project framework.  

Pros of Extreme ProgrammingCons of Extreme Programming
Stable SystemUnclear System
Clear CodeTime Waste
Fast MVP deliveryNot enough documentation
Less documentationBig cultural change needed
No overtimePair programming takes longer
High visibilityCollocated teams only
Team CollaborationStressful
Customer SatisfactionCode over design

Difference Between Extreme Programming and Non-Agile Practices   

Some of the initial differences between extreme programming and non-agile practices are: 

Extreme ProgrammingNon-Agile Practices
Have many cyclesCycles are limited
Modern method of creating softwareTraditional method of reading software
Minimal upfront plannings are donePlanning is completed before the development starts
Include stages like planning, designing, coding, testing, and listening.Include stages like planning, requirements, system and software design, implementation, testing, deployment, maintenance and updates.

Values of Extreme Programming

The following section details the five extreme programming values: communication, simplicity, feedback, courage, and respect. Let know each one individually:  


Software development requires teamwork because knowledge transfer between team members depends on communication. According to XP, the appropriate form of communication is a face-to-face discussion using a whiteboard or other drawing tool.  


XP encourages courage on all fronts. Speaking out against ineffective practices and anything else that reduces the project's effectiveness is one way to do this, as is accepting criticism and developing better methodologies. 


By receiving ongoing feedback on their prior work, teams can find opportunities for improvement and change their procedures. Simple design is also supported by feedback. Based on feedback, your team constructs something, gets input on how it was designed and implemented, and then changes the product moving forward. Without feedback, growth and development will never be seen. 


Your team members must respect one another to communicate, give and accept feedback that respects your working relationship, and collaborate to develop straightforward designs and solutions. 


The simplest possible solution is what XP seeks out. This entails focusing only on the necessary tasks to reduce waste, addressing only known problems, and maintaining a straightforward design for efficient production and upkeep.  

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Roles of Extreme Programming 

The extreme programming process requires collaboration between several participants, each of whom has specific duties. Extreme programming prioritizes the human being as the system's core component, highlighting the value and significance of social skills like cooperation, communication, responsiveness, and feedback. Therefore, the following roles are frequently linked to XP: 

  1. Developing a product is the responsibility of the developers or programmers. They are in charge of user testing and putting user stories into action. Since cross-functional teams are typically associated with XP, the skill sets of such members may differ. 
  2. Customers are anticipated to actively participate in the development process by generating user stories, offering ongoing feedback, and making all necessary project-related business decisions. 
  3. Coaches can be included as mentors to assist the teams in understanding the XP practices. Typically, a consultant or assistant from outside the development process has experience with XP and can help prevent errors. 
  4. Linking clients and developers are trackers or managers. One of the developers could fill this role since it is not essential. These individuals manage discussions, plan meetings, and monitor crucial KPIs for progress. 

Best Practices of Programming Core Principles  

Along with the three practices of extreme programming, the following are some of the best practices of extreme programming principles:  

  1. Assumed Simplicity: Developers should adhere to the YAGNI (You Ain't Gonna Need It) and DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) principles and concentrate on the task. 
  2. Accepting Change: Programmers should back a client's opinion that a product needs to be modified and prepared to implement any necessary changes. 
  3. Quality Work: An effective team that produces a good-quality item and is pleased with its work is said to produce quality work. 
  4. Incremental Changes: A product performs better with small incremental changes than with large ones. 
  5. Rapid Feedback: Team members comprehend and respond to the provided feedback immediately.  

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Extreme Programming Examples and Use Cases  

Use Case 1: Web Development  

  • Problem statement: The company's website requires redesign. 
  • Actors: Customer, Developers, Tracker 
  • Regular Movement of Events 
  • The client discloses initial requirements. 
  • The development team starts programming. 
  • The QA team conducts bug checks and alerts the programming team. 
  • The client has made more demands. 
  • Repeating the cycle. 

Using XP 

  • Involving the customer and developers in a face-to-face meeting is called. 
  • The customer creates a story that outlines the requirements, the budget, and the timeline. 
  • The project manager takes on the role of the project tracker and does so. 
  • The development team divides into pairs and begins writing and debugging code simultaneously. 
  • The customer can specify new requirements during the weekly meeting to discuss the progress. 
  • A meeting to discuss the status of the stories is held once every three months. 
  • An entirely new set of stories is created once the old ones have been finished. 

Use Case 2: Game Development 

  • Problem Statement: A client wants a brand-new game created. 
  • Actors: Customer, Developers, Tracker 

The Regular Flow of Events 

  • The client provides requirements, a timeline, and a budget. 
  • The programmers begin writing code. 
  • The game modules are put through QA testing. 
  • The client needs more specifications. 
  • The cycle continues. 

Using XP 

  • The customer and developers are called to a face-to-face meeting. 
  • The customer creates a story (game modules) that outlines the requirements, the budget, and the timeline. 
  • The project manager takes on the role of the tracker and monitors the development of the game. 
  • The code for various modules is written and tested simultaneously by the development team as they begin working in pairs. 
  • The customer can specify new requirements during the weekly meeting where progress is discussed. 
  • A meeting to discuss the status of the stories is held once every three months. 
  • A new set of stories is created after the old ones, or high-priority modules, are finished.


Despite its pros and cons, extreme programming is a set of specific rules and methods that distinguish it from other methodologies. When combined, they strengthen one another, aid in reducing development process risks, and produce the desired high-quality outcome. That is why the extreme programming framework is today's fastest-growing management software.

To gain more knowledge about extreme programming, you can take up Java full course and understand further about the programming software. This course will help you understand extreme programming tools and the methodology intended to improve software quality and responsiveness to changing customer requirements. 


Zeshan Naz

Blog Author

Zeshan Naz holds 6 years of work experience in Content Marketing. EdTech is her field of expertise and she looks forward to helping more professionals get ahead in their careers. Zeshan is an avid reader and in her leisure time, loves traveling around and exploring places.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Where is extreme programming used?

Extreme programming is used in Test-driven Development, game planning, code refactoring, web development, etc. 

2How do you implement Extreme Programming?

You must plan, design, code, test, and listen to implement extreme programming.  

3When did Extreme Programming start?

Extreme programming started in 1996 for the first time. 

4What is the difference between agile and extreme programming?

The major difference between agile and extreme programming is that agile is a classification, whereas XP is a discrete method. 

5What are the core values of extreme programming?

The core values of extreme programming are communication, simplicity, feedback, respect, and courage.

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