The native language of eXtreme Programming

10–12th May 2017 at thestudio

A 150 minute Hands-On by:

Keith Braithwaite

Zuhlke Engineering Ltd

About this Hands-On

Smalltalk is the native language of eXtreme Programming - the first XP project used Smalltalk, the early proponents of eXtreme Programming were (are) all (former) Smalltalkers. Agile practices inherited from XP are based on assumptions about how programmers interact with code that are native to Smalltalk, its environment and tools, but which can seem alien to programmers working in many more 'modern' languages.

Does TDD seem more odd and awkward in your language than it should? Does getting to the point where you can do continuous integration seem like very hard work? Do you struggle to make very small releases effectively in your build chain? How could anyone have thought that these were good ideas?

In this session you will write Smalltalk and see how practices like TDD - including the essential step of refactoring - continuous integration and small releases are very strongly afforded by Smalltalk, its environment and its tools.

Based on that experience, illuminating comparisons with mainstream environments will be drawn, pointing towards a better understanding of these practices and hopefully better implementation of them.

You will need to install a preprepared Pharo 5 image on a laptop, which I will make available on a server before the conference. This is a FOSS implementation of Smalltalk. Credentials for a pre-prepared repo on a free-for-non-commerical-use Smalltalk hosting site will also be provided. You will work in pairs to explore the Smalltalk language, but more importantly, the tools in the environment and the methods of working that those tools afford.

This exercise has been run in-house at Zuhlke, and also at the XP Manchester group to great interest.

About the Speaker

Keith is Director of Customer Solutions at Zuhlke Engineering Ltd and also manages the company's Manchester office. He was one of the earlier adopters of eXtreme Programming in the UK and has practiced, taught and coached XP and agile development in the UK, Europe, the USA and APAC since 2001.


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