The social side of technical practices

Robinson, Hugh and Sharp, Helen (2005). The social side of technical practices. In: Baumeister, Hubert; Marchesi, Michele and Holcombe, Mike eds. Extreme Programming and Agile Processes in Software Engineering: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference, XP 2005, Sheffield, UK, June 18-23, 2005. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 3556 (3556). Berlin, Germany: Springer, pp. 100–108.



XP is a social activity as well as a technical activity. The social side of XP is emphasized typically in the values and principles which underlie the technical practices. However, the fieldwork studies we have carried out with
mature XP teams have shown that the technical practices themselves are also intensely social: they have social dimensions that arise from and have consequences for the XP approach. In this paper, we report on elements of XP practice that show the social side of several XP practices, including test-first development, simple design, refactoring and on-site customer. We also illustrate the social side of the practices in combination through a thematic view of progress.

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