Let Ron Jeffries, experienced XP author, trainer, coach, and practitioner, put together a combination of training and services that is just right for you. We are pleased to offer a full spectrum of training and services relating to software development and Extreme Programming.
Based on years of coaching and training in XP, we have created several prepared courses. Usually a unique combination of these is put together with a client, customized to their special needs, but the ingredient courses are these:
- Introduction to Extreme Programming. Introduces the XP values and practices, serving as a stand-alone introduction, or as a basis for the more detailed sessions listed below. Appropriate for all team members, in-house customers, marketing, and management.
- Planning Game Experience. This tutorial, the "small card game", is a simulation game introducing the concepts of XP planning, story value, and story cost. Learn to manage scope and optimize return on investment. The students practice planning a project with varying levels of information about the features needed, and experience how "nature" deals with their plan. Again, very appropriate for all team members, in-house customers, marketing, and management, to learn how the process works and what their part in it is.
- Story Estimation. In this tutorial, the students receive a set of requirements for an imaginary project. In just a few hours' time, they learn how to estimate stories, split stories, and discover the impact of estimate variation on the ability to predict and track project results. Primarily intended for developers, but all are welcome.
- Project Tracking Simulation. Here, students experience a guided tour through project execution and tracking. From "waterfall" conditions through application of Extreme Programming practices, the students learn to observe, track, and predict the results of the project. Special emphasis is given to the hidden impact of defects on success, and the XP practices that reduce and discover defects in a timely manner. Appropriate for all, especially for developers and testers.
- Test-Driven Development. This is a short session, ninety minutes to two hours, demonstrating how Test-Driven Development is done. This demo is typically be done either in C# .NET, or in Ruby (a scripting language not unlike Python). Smalltalk and other languages available. Primarily intended for developers.
- Acceptance-Test-Driven Development. In this session, we demonstrate Fit, an acceptance testing framework, and discuss how it can be used on an XP project. Suitable for developers, customers, and testers.
Customer, Planning, and Management Services
On the customer and management side of XP, we can assist in the development of materials and skills that will allow you to guide your project to success:
- Creating Your Requirements Stories. The XP business process begins by determining at least the key requirements for your project. Your project team will welcome change as you and they learn, but you'll want to have a decent idea of what needs to be done and what it will cost. We will work with you to determine what is needed, and to help you set up the "stories" that are the core elements of XP planning.
- Estimating the Cost of Your Project. To decide whether to go ahead with your project, you'll need a good estimate of what it will cost and how long it will take. Based on the stories created above, we will work with the Customers and Developers to estimate the cost and duration of the project.
- Planning Your Releases. The more frequently your team releases useful tested software, the sooner you can begin to gain important feedback from users, and the sooner you'll be able to get a return on your investment. We will work with you to find the best and fastest way to get that return.
- Planning Your Iterations. XP teams work in very short "iterations", typically one or two weeks. At the end of each iteration, they deliver running tested software. This lets you see clearly how the project is going. We will work with you to plan your first few iterations and will equip you to select the most valuable stories for implementation.
- Getting What You Asked For. You need concrete information on how the project is progressing. Your XP team can provide software that is visibly running the tests you specify, every couple of weeks, rather than just dry and often misleading "status reports". We will work with you to define those tests (and with the development team to develop the simple software needed to run them).
- Steering Your Project. By working on what you need, in the order you need it, and by delivering running tested software very frequently, XP teams allow customers and management to see what is happening. More important, frequent planning lets you guide the project as it proceeds. We will work with you to learn how things are going, and to steer the project to success.
To give you the benefits of good estimates, clear assessment of function and quality, and the ability to steer the project as it goes, developers need to learn, and to practice, a few specialized skills:
- Estimating Stories. To allow you to estimate the cost and duration of your project, you need to know how difficult each of your requested features will be. We will work with your developers to develop initial estimates and to build their estimating skills.
- Measuring Velocity. Your project completion date depends on how difficult your features are, and on how fast your team can produce features. We will work with you and your developers to measure production velocity, and to help you use the information to guide the project to success.
- Satisfying the Customer. The project stakeholders need accurate information on what is being accomplished and on how good it is. We will work with your developers to provide simple "acceptance tests" that easily provide concrete feedback on how the project is going.
- Producing Reliable Code Quickly. Often the biggest delay on a project is a long period of "debugging" that occurs at the end. This period is painful to live through, and its duration is almost impossible to predict. This period can be shortened -- on many projects eliminated -- using XP's simple and easy Test-Driven Development approach. We will work with your developers to show how to use the tools and techniques of TDD to produce a solid product quickly.
Your project’s results come faster and better when the entire team – customers, managers, developers, testers – are working effectively together. The XP planning and development practices enable this to happen. We will work with you on the planning game, pair programming, team code ownership – all the XP techniques – to enable you to produce a solid reliable product, in the shortest possible time, with good ability to predict and to measure your results.
Let's Get Started!
It’s as simple as a phone call or email. Ron Jeffries, experienced XP author, trainer, coach, and practitioner, will work with you to put together a combination of services that’s custom-fitted to your situation. Ron has access to all the best XP resources in the United States and in the world, and will help you to define and get just the help you need, when you need it. Ron himself will provide much of the support you need, and will bring in other world-class resources to provide you with an excellent result at a cost you can afford. Email Ron as described below, and he’ll set up a phone conversation or meeting at your convenience.
Ron gets about 300 spam e-mails every day. A Bayesian mail filter, POPFile, puts most of these into a folder for suspected spam. Once in a while an email that should reach him goes into that folder. He checks the items before deleting, but there are a lot of them and there’s a chance your mail will be missed. Any email with the string [ron] in the subject will bypass the filter. (The square brackets should be included.)
Email ronjeffries at acm dot org and put [ron] in the subject line, together with any other subject text you’d like.