Through my friend Peter Christy, I was recently introduced to Kent Beck, the godfather of Extreme Programming. In the ensuing email conversation, he gave a pithy example of why his thinking has been so influential:
It seems to me like the new generation of UI technologies creates the
opportunity for artfully simplifying tools. The general technology is incredibly
powerful and flexible, but the cost and complexity of using it is high. Along
comes someone with a version of the technology that can do 20 or 40 or 60% of
what the original can do, but that opens the door to many more people using it.
The trick is always discarding the right 40 or 60 or 80%.
Kent puts his finger on the challenge for the next generation of enterprise tools – how to democratize the development of web applications. The challenge will be draining out the bathwater (development complexity) without also dumping the baby (expressive power).
Extreme Programming 2.0 Anyone?