ReXP : Remote eXtreme Programming

My colleague Ahmad from Beirut gave a talk at Agile Tour Beirut on Saturday about how we adopted XP to a distributed team at work. I gave him a hand and played the remote guy during the talk.

With me through Skype, we did a first demo of remote pair programming on FizzBuzz using IDEA and Floobits

We then did a demo of remote retrospectives using Trello

When should I use ReXP

The conclusion is that :

  • If people are spread over 2 or a few cities, and that they are enough at every place to build a teams, just build different teams at every location
  • If people are spread over a lot of places, maybe involving many time zones, then the open source, pull request based work-flow seems the best
  • Otherwise, if there are not enough people to build 2 teams, that they are spread over only a few locations, that the time difference is not too big, then stretching XP to Remote will work best

As it is said that “nothing beats XP for small collocated teams”, I guess “nothing beats ReXP for small almost collocated teams”.

Tools to make it better

As Ahmad said in his talk, tools already exist. We could add that more would be welcome :

  • Floobits or Saros help tremendously for remote pairing, but maybe cloud based IDEs like Eclipse Che or Cloud 9 will make all these tools useless !
  • Trello works well for remote retrospectives, but some great activities like the 5 whys are still difficult to do with Trello. I’m sure new tools could do better.
  • I’m currently building a remote planning poker app
  • My other colleague Morgan wants to build a virtual stand up token to make it flow

Finally, here are the slides :

EDIT 2016/11/23 : the full video is now on YouTube

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