Chris Booth

I work for the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

I have done various things in my career, mostly to do with parallel programming of one sort or another, mostly in simulation. At the moment I am working on a project researching run time reconfigurable FPGAs, of which I shall say no more since that is not relevant here.

I came across these pages in December 1999, and was instantly converted. So much so that I would like to introduce the ideas of ExtremeProgramming to my colleagues. The major characteristic of the software that we produce is that it is in support of our research, and is liable to change direction depending on the results. Unfortunately, we are ISO 9000 certified, with rabid paperwork fiends writing the procedures. I see no reason why XP should not be ISO 9000 compliant, even if it does not comply with our procedures (yet :-).

Another problem applying XP to our work is that our customers just do not want to know what we do on a day-to-day basis. All they care about is the potential benefits of the research. There is absolutely no way we can get them involved in our software development. But I have seen information about DeveloperOnlyXp that encourages me to try, and I think that we can fake customers.

In order to tell people about XP I am planning to give a talk and then run an ExtremeHour session. If I get enough resistance, I hope that I can get one group to design the product in a more traditional manner while another group uses XP principles and practices. (I think I will get about 10-20 people attending the talk, which translates to one or two development groups.)

Does anyone have any comments? For example, is it foolhardy for me to attempt this with no direct XP experience myself?

  1. go for it!
  2. I know people in DERA who have admired TomGilb and EvolutionaryDelivery for many years (names available for a few pints of real ale in Malvern some time)
  3. I know others who were very interested in JenniferStapleton of the DSDM consortium showing how to do DSDM or other lightweight method within the ISO 9000 context
  4. There's been some very positive experience using standard MOD tasking contracts for EvolutionaryDelivery with Objective (well we thought so but so did those we worked with I gather)


Since last editing this page in 2000, Chris continued to work at QinetiQ, following the part-privatisation of DERA. Amongst many other things, he introduced a number of his colleagues to XP and Agile approaches in general.

In late 2009, Chris was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. His fight against it is documented in his blog at

On 7th August 2010, Chris passed away peacefully, with his family beside him.



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