Some adherents of agile development feel their approach goes against the predominant tenets of existing traditional approaches to software development, and thus can invoke fear and anxiety in practitioners. One way to understand if and how agile methods differ from existing approaches is to explore one agile approach in depth and, if possible, its philosophical underpinnings to see in what way it presents a new and different view of the software development process. This paper works to understand some of the philosophical underpinnings of Extreme Programming (XP), an agile software development approach. The study uses a qualitative data analysis approach to address the following research questions: 1) what philosophy underlies XP, and 2) does XP's philosophy differ from the dominant software development paradigm? The paper finds that Extreme Programming reflects many pragmatic philosophical viewpoints and that many of its tenets conflict with the rationalistic approach that underlies traditional software development discourse.
Published in Information Systems, at: https://doi.org/10.48009/2_iis_2005_23-28
Issues in Information Systems
Date of publication
Fagan, Mary Helen, "Comparing Traditional and Agile Development Approaches: The Case of Extreme Programming" (2005). Management Faculty Publications and Presentations. Paper 8.