A wandering programmer chanced upon an Extreme Programmer while traveling. The wanderer chose to speak first, “Teach me this XP stuff, I want to see what all the fuss is about.” The Extreme Programmer replied, “I am about to start programming on a task, you may join me if you wish.”
A junior programmer asked his more senior pair, “What is the programming in XP?” She responded, “Test, code, refactor, integrate.” The junior programmer replied, “How is this enough?” The senior programmer responded, “It is too much, but that is the best we know.” The junior programmer exclaimed, “Too much! Where is the design? Where is the architecture?” The senior programmer smiled, and said, “Test, code, refactor, integrate.”
While pair programming, Yu asked Lin Chou, “What is Extreme Programming?” Lin Chou replied, “Assume nothing, and program.” Yu responded, “How can you expect me to assume nothing? Am I to forego all I have learned about software development, and the requirements of the system?” Lin Chou answered, “You can actually do this? I am humbled to be in the presence of such a programmer.” It was then that Yu embraced change.
A Project Manager was sitting at lunch with the customer, and was questioning her on planning in Extreme Programming. “What does it mean to plan in XP?” he said. The customer responded, “Stories, tests, estimates, iterations.” “What then of the planning game? The note cards? Where are the Gantt Charts, how do you keep the programmers under control?” The customer pulled a note card from her pocket and tore it to bits. The project manager was enlightened.
An apprentice came to Masters Te and Re, seeking enlightenment. Master Re received her, and showed a beautiful wooden carving, that he had hewed out of an old tree stump, plished and varnished; of a lovely little hat, with a spinning wheel atop. The seeker went “Wow, a beanie hat”, put it on, and went away unenlightened.
A second apprentice came to the house by the three rivers. Master Te received him, and mindful of Master Re’s adventures with the first, showed how to trawl the nearby swamps for stumps of the right shape; then she hewed and polished until a second wooden hat, as lovely as Master Te’s. The seeker went away unenlightened - he fell in love with collecting old ugly tree stumps but never got the knack of turning them into lovely carvings.
The two seekers once met, years later, in a tavern where a grizzled journeyman, who had practiced the crafts of finding stumps and of hewing stumps, had joined them to share stories. Each told their tale of Masters Te and Re; that evening, the journeyman was enlightened.
A third apprentice came by a bit later. Master Se received him. They went into the swamp and brought back a ragged stump. Master Se looked upon the stump for a while and said “This stump will make a beautiful hat.” They discussed the hat briefly and Master Se went to work. The apprentice, who had an aged mother needing assistance, reluctantly returned home before the hat was completed and promised to return as soon as possible the next day. Master Se continued working.
The next day, the apprentice arrived and asked Master Se where the hat was. Master Se indicated a vase on a nearby shelf. “But you were making a hat!?!?”, exclaimed the apprentice. “The stump wanted to be a vase”, replied Master Se.
History does not record whether the apprentice was enlightened.