Xp Documentary

There was a DocumentaryFilm on ExtremeProgramming being planned. We canceled just before pre-production was to begin due to external concerns.

This page is maintained should someone else be interested in starting again.

-- DanielPezely

We [were] making a DocumentaryFilm on ExtremeProgramming that [was being] shaped by the community.

Please help make this an accurate and reliable presentation by voicing your opinions, concerns, thoughts and ideas below.


Of the co-producers, one is familiar with Unix systems programming, business plans and presenting technical material to non-technical audiences. The other, meanwhile, is knowledgeable regarding psychology, elements of story and presentation to a general audience. Both are experienced with differing aspects of film-making and the related industry.

--DanielPezely, co-producer

Q: The working title `Forest versus Trees' is in reference to other disciplines losing sight of one for the other. What does this title mean to you? Does it apply? As an isolated comment, yes, it risks alienating the audience. The full context is that while working on a project, ExtremeProgramming helps the team achieve the task. Through pairing, one individual focuses on the big picture (the forest) while the other deals with certain details (the trees). This will be explained early within the presentation. -- DanielPezely

Q: What should we consider including within the documentary?

Q: Whom should we consider for interviewing as supporters, other than WardAndKent?

Q: Whom should we consider interviewing as objective critics? This last group, Booch, Rumbaugh, Jacobson... They are generally well respected software engineers, and rightly so, but there is a clear conflict of interest here. They run RationalSoftware?, and have to protect RUP. Also, I don't think that Weinberg or DeMarco would be critical of XP. I think that one of the best critics I've spoken to in recent years is AlistairCockburn - he's a fan of XP, but not a sheep. -- BryanDollery


How about BarryBoehm. He just recently commented on XP in IEEE Software I believe.

I suggest the team working on the XpDocumentary find and read TheSoulOfaNewMachine, by TracyKidder. Similarly, read some of the books by BobWoodward?, of Watergate fame. Interestingly enough, Kidder's next book was "House" - following the same approach. Very appropriate, given the metaphor you suggest.

Then please consider following a similar methodology. In other words, go find an Xp project and become a fly on the wall. Follow it from start to finish, as an observer. Then create the XpDocumentary from what you learn. I think the entire industry might benefit from a reasonably objective documentary of a real project and project team, told by narrator who has no particular axe to grind.

Conversely, I encourage you to resist the temptation, apparently lurking in these pages, to jump into "metaphors that [have]major problems" in order "[get] non-technical people to understand". This is bad education practice, bad communication practice, and bad business. Your prospective audience will likely leave shaking their heads and wondering what you wanted them to remember and what you wanted them to forget.

Instead, show your audience something real. Give them something they leave wanting to tell their friends about. The C3 project was a genuine success story, and its reality was an important part of establishing the credibility of Xp as a whole.

-- TomStambaugh

Agreed! Actions speak louder than words.

We have a project already in the works to serve the purpose of demonstration. The documentary will feature elements of that project from beginning to end.

I'm familiar with TheSoulOfaNewMachine. I understand your point.

-- DanielPezely

The metaphors were to be used for setting up the demonstration for non-technical audiences.

Do you feel non-technical audiences can get by without metaphor?

-- DanielPezely

The wonderfully articulate JazzMusicMetaphor posted by TomStambaugh has been moved to its own page.


Who is the intended audience for this documentary? The top of the page says "a wide audience", but just how wide? Is this documentary targeted at "business decision makers", or is it truly for a general audience (people who watch Nova, for example)? -- KrisJohnson

Yes. The PBS (US) or BBC (UK) viewer is the profile. Please see XpDocumentaryAudience. -- DanielPezely

We are planning to make a small XpDocumentary recording the process we learn and practice XP while doing a small project. We call it XpPlayed. -- JuneKim

See Also: DocumentaryFilm, MetaphorsForNontechnicalAudience (JazzMusicMetaphor), XpDocumentaryAudience

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