Software professionals involved in the development and delivery of business critical systems are increasingly referring to Agile methods to describe a rigorous process centric suite of practices optimised for adapting to uncertain or changing business needs. The term "extreme programming" was coined and popularised by Kent Beck in the late 1990s to characterise an apposite (and opposite) approach to writing software. IT describes a radical departure in our understanding of how to organise software engineering (Beck, 1999). The 'turn to agility' followed extreme programming as a broad umbrella label for Kent's XP and other approaches that took on this contrary mantel of refocusing software developers back on towards the core values and practices of computer programming in all its many forms (Kruchten, 2007).
Figure: Tracking the rise of popularity of the use of the terms "Extreme Programming" and "Agile Development".
How much of this is hype and how much a radical return to professional practice remains to be seen (Kruchten, 2007).
1. Beck, K. (1999) Embracing Change with Extreme Programming.
2. Kruchten, P. (2007) Voyage in the Agile Memeplex