Portland XP User's Group

Inaugural Meeting - February 8, 2001

# Introduction

Alex Ginos provided an overview and introduction to the purpose of the group.

This group exists to provide:

- mutual support for people interested in using XP - networking for XP related jobs - a place to give feedback to the creators of XP and thereby further its evolution.

# Speaker

Ward Cunningham then gave a short presentation on the past, present and future of Extreme Programming and what he's up to now.

Extreme Programming grew out of Ward's work at Tektronix, building real products with Smalltalk and Object-Oriented principles, early on in OO's adoption.

After being asked what he was up to every day, Ward began to structure his development so his answer could end "...for the customer". To do this, he started asking himself these questions before any undertaking.

"What am I doing?"

"Why am I doing it?"

"Whom am I doing it for?"

"What's next?"

With this customer focus, OO's ability to simplify Refactoring code and successful experiments with Pair-Programming, the kernel of XP was assembled. Then, about five years ago, Kent Beck "turned up the knobs to ten" on a troubled project at Chrysler, successfully putting XP through the paces on a significant project.

XP is now known as a Light Weight Methodology, however, Ward does not believe that's a good categorization. He'd rather have people understand that XP is focused more on the final deliverable than on producing project management artifacts. Ward asked the group to list off light-weight methodologies and the following were mentioned:

- Scrum Process - Adaptive Software Development - Crystal Clear Methodology - Feature Driven Design

It was even proposed that there should be a Unified Lightweight Methodology.

Three XP books have now been published and there are more on the way (if not here already). "The publishers have figured out that thin methodology books sell."

- Extreme Programming Explained: by Kent Beck - Extreme Programming Installed by Ron Jeffries, et al - Planning Extreme Programming by KentBeck, et al

Ward then listed off recent or upcoming conferences that will deal with XP:

- Xp 2001 - Xp Universe - SD 2001 - Oopsla 2000 - Xp Workshop

The XP buzz in the industry is building. As a show of hands displayed, few people are following all of its tenets yet, but many are interested in learning how it can help deliver better customer results.

Currently, Ward is focusing his attention on better defining the business role of XP. Traditional business processes are handed down from big business and don't fit entrepreneurial startups well. Since XP is a good risk control tool and there is an absolute focus on outcomes (liquidity in the business world), the start-up environment appears to be a good fit. He has taken an academic interest, collaborating with a successful local entrepreneur in applying XP principles at a new start-up company. His goal is to define a unified XP-like process for startups.

# Activity

A "get to know ya" game was played to introduce everyone to each other. The goal was to meet as many people as possible in fifteen minutes and find something personal in common. Some attendees can really network!

# Business

Prof. Andrew Black will be teaching an XP course at the Oregon Graduate Institute this spring. He would be grateful if any XP'ers would be willing to be guest speakers, provide tips, or even be an on-site customer for a stretch. Contact Prof. Black at black@cse.ogi.edu if you are interested.

What should this brand-new group be called? After a few nominations, a nearly unanimous decision for XPDX was rendered. This acronym nearly rivals GNU on the recursion scale. Aaron Singmaster-Judd from the TechnoLoft swiftly snapped up xpdx.org on Friday. Stay tuned, well let everyone know when there's a site. Thanks Aaron!

The question of what format following meetings should take was posed to the group. Here's a list of suggestions:

- PortlandJavaUsersGroup is a good model. - Good guest speakers. - Panels and discussions. - Technical presentations. - A discussion of how to use metaphors in XP. - Cover one aspect of XP each month. - Do XP in the small for an hour. - Discuss tools that people use. - Start the meetings with introductions.

It was decided that the meeting should be held once a month and avoid conflicts with other industry groups in the area. Also, finding a permanent venue was discussed with multiple sites being proposed. A schedule and meeting location will be announced shortly.

# Resources

There is information regarding the PortlandXpUsersGroup available at the Portland Pattern Repository Wiki: PortlandXpUsersGroup

Also, subscribe to the XPPortland mailing list at: groups.yahoo.com

Thanks to everyone who came, unofficially we had 52 people attend. Thanks to Ward Cunningham for his insight. Thanks to Ace Communications for the great facility. Thanks to Logical e-Business Solutions for the pizza and soda.

See you next time.