Chapter 17. Creation Story

Ideas that catch on have associated with them the story of how they began. These stories serve to anchor the ideas, to place them in a context from which they can be more easily understood by listeners. Here is my story of the beginning of XP.

It all started with a phone call. Would I please come have a look at the performance of a payroll system Chrysler was putting together? I had written and lectured on Smalltalk performance tuning, so I wasn’t surprised to get such a call. I was a bit surprised at the answers to some of my screening questions. One in particular caught my ear:

“Do you have tests so I can be sure I don’t break anything with the changes I make?”

“We aren’t actually computing the right answers yet.” ...

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