xppdx – dipping a toe in the water

I had a great time at an XP Programming/Code Sprint this evening arranged via the XP Portland mailing list. Without a clue as to what to expect, I showed up with my battered laptop, listened to three people present their ideas for projects to work on and picked one that seemed kanban-related (turned out yes!) to help out with.

Going back to my entry about the women’s programming group – our groups tonight had 100% participation because of the pairings. And there was no where to hide!

I think there’s a relationship between XP, socratic seminars (at least the way our group operated) and “pair and share” discussion (which is used quite a bit in middle and high school education). And by pairing people up, you very quickly discover how to compliment (or not!) each others strengths and weaknesses. I haven’t read anything about XP other than short articles on the web, but I really did not expect that at all.

Maybe that doesn’t work out for everyone, but tonight was fabulous. Thanks Kevin, Aaron, Arlo and Kim for all your help. And especially Jeff, who encouraged several of us to attend in the first place! It was so fun working together.

In two hours we had a tiny working application, putting data into an SQLite database using a GUI toolkit on three different operating systems. Sure, we need tests and documentation, but great work for just two hours and 7-8 people who mostly didn’t know each other.

I think that the group will be meeting in another two weeks, and I hope I can make it!