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What are the extreme programming advantages and disadvantages?



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Extreme Programming Explained (Click for reviews on Amazon)

Extreme Programming (Click for reviews on Amazon)

What is Extreme Programming (XP)?

Extreme programming is basically software development procedures designed and created to improve software quality as well as the ability it has to adapt to the ever-changing needs of users of that particular software.

The first to develop the Extreme Programming Methodology was Ken Beck around the mid and even late nineties. At the time, software used to manage the payrolls in large organizations known as Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation Systems is what he was working on. 

"Extreme Programming Explained" (Click to see reviews on Amazon) is a book he published in October 1999 and the book explains the entire methodology to others.

Extreme Programming and Agile processes of development have a few similar characteristics. One of them is that they both aim at producing frequent and iterative small releases during the course of the project. 

This allows both the clients and team members to review and examine the software project's progress during the entire process.

This type of programming prescribes a set of daily practices that developers and managers should adhere to. The main objective of these practices is to encourage and embody some particular values.

Experts believe when you when you exercise these practices, they will inevitably lead to development procedures that are much more responsive to client needs while still creating and designing software that is of better or similar quality.

The 5 Core Values of Extreme Programming

Here are the five core values:

  1. Communication

    Software development is more or less a team sport and no team can function effectively without proper communication.

    Team members need proper communication to be able to transfer knowledge effectively between one another. Extreme Programming stresses the importance of proper kinds of communication.
  2. Simplicity
    XP is all about using the simple things that have proved to work. Why simplicity is a major factor to avoid wastage so as to only do the things that are absolutely necessary.

    An example of the simple things XP stresses over is keeping software designs as simple as you can which makes maintenance, support and revision so much easier.
  3. Feedback
    Constant feedback concerning the previous efforts of the team allows the team to clearly identify the areas that need revision as well as improvement.

    Constant feedback also greatly supports simple designs. Your team builds what they need to build, gathers constructive feedback on implementation and design, and then make adjustments to your software product as you move forward.
  4. Courage
    Kent Beck in his book "Extreme Programming Explained" defines courage as the preference of action based principles whereby the results are not harmful to your team.

    For one to raise organizational issues that involve the effectiveness of the team. For you to stop doing the things that don't work you'll need the courage to try something else. Finally, you'll also need courage when accepting and acting on feedback especially when it's negative.
  5. Respect
    If your team members want to communicate with each other effectively, accept as well as provide constructive feedback and work with each other properly, and cohesively work together, then they'll need to learn how to respect each other as a whole.

Advantages of Extreme Programming

Here are the advantages of Extreme Programming:

  • Robustness: The fact that the power of simplicity is leveraged is a big advantage. The way developers take their time on small iterations and software pieces resembles completing jigsaw puzzles.

    This approach creates software that works faster as well as one that lacks many defects. Bug detection is guaranteed when regular testing is done during the development stage.

  • Resilience: When requirements remain static then the traditional means of programming are advised.

    However, that's not how the real world operates. Things like new business opportunities completely change requirement dynamics.

    This type of programming accommodates requirement changes by getting and storing the user stories from the start and also from the constant feedback during the course of iterations.

  • Cost Saving: XP helps in trimming unproductive activities in order to reduce frustration and cost. Needless paperwork is avoided in order to allow developers and programmers to concentrate on coding instead of needles time wasting.

    The fact that changes are made based on client feedback during development stages keeps overall costs low.

  • Employee Satisfaction: The fact that XP reduces the importance of individuals during the development process helps increase employee retention and satisfaction.

    This type of programming is all about value-driven approaches which set fixed work schedules without concentrating on overtime.

Disadvantages of Extreme Programming

Here are the disadvantages of Extreme Programming:

  • Difficulty: This is technically a tough software practice so convincing developers and programmers to adopt it won't be easy. It requires customer devotion as well as lots and lots of team discipline.

    Its life cycle has very many different changes which mean that those who manage this type of software projects are bound to be faced with numerous difficulties.
  • XP Relies on Very Many Factors: This is basically a minimalist process. Its lack of vigor is made up by the number of practices involved.

    The project has a high risk of failure if something goes wrong. This happens to be a very big disadvantage when it comes to this type of software development. The fact of the matter is that extreme programming is a highly risky endeavour.

  • Code Centric: This type of programming methodology is code-centric rather than design-centric. This can prove to be very tiring when larger software projects are involved.

    XP is also very time consuming and has a lot of refactoring involved in its procedures. Test coding is also quite difficult in this programming process. This is largely due to defects that have not been documented well and codes that haven't been structured well enough.


External Programming has made a very big contribution to the software development world. Many teams involved in agile projects use very many different types of tactics and helpful methodologies.

This is one procedure that is highly useful for all the software developers and programmers in the agile realm. The fact that it focuses on practice excellence makes this procedure one of a kind and if you're involved in this type of software development then you should definitely try out this procedure, You won't regret it. And now you know.

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