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Extreme Programming Pocket Guide by Chromatic

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Chapter 21. Eliminating Fear and Working Together

XP can succeed only when developers want to produce good software as a team. You must be able to trust each other’s work. It’s easier to do the right thing if all of your coworkers are doing the same. Trust and honesty will dispel many fears that would otherwise slow or sink the project.

Developing coding standards (see Coding Practice 3: Develop Coding Standards in Part II) can really bring your developers together. A healthy team can produce a small and useful set of community standards for all new code, including refactorings. These standards are idioms and phrases, a common vocabulary for developers to communicate through working code. Well-defined standards make it much easier to adopt the other XP coding practices.

Adopt a common vocabulary (see Coding Practice 4: Develop a Common Vocabulary in Part II) with the coding standards. XP relies heavily on communication. Just as design patterns help communicate designs and design strategies through metaphor, common names and ideas help communicate features and stories. Make that as easy as possible as soon as possible.

Both your coding standards and your common vocabulary will evolve with time. Start small, but start soon. Bring everyone on board early, agree on a few ground rules, and let the whole team decide on changes as necessary.

Start coding and designing simply (see Coding Practice 1: Code and Design Simply in Part II). It will take time to break the habit of coding unnecessary ...

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