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Don proposed to the team that they set up an extra computer on an empty desk where all integration would take place. They would integrate and release new code to the repository when ever they wanted without prior permission so long as it ran all the unit tests. Management hated the idea. The team was mixed about it. Management played their trump card by not allowing Don to have an extra computer. So Don simply moved his own computer to the empty desk and told everyone it was the integration station. He wanted to do more pair programming anyway.
That simple change made a huge difference. People began releasing code at least once a day if not more. Sharing an integration computer made people more cooperative and the design tighter because everyone was responsible for making it better. Anyone could change any code and know changes would not be lost. People began writing more unit tests then they had before because it ensured their code would run even if some one else made some changes.
The real prize in that change was what came to be known as collective ownership. The entire team owns the entire code base. The entire team is responsible for developing and extending the system design. The team worked together cooperatively at a much faster pace than anyone expected.  Don  has  some  rough  estimates  and believes the team was going six and a half times faster than before the project was restarted.
With C3 back on schedule Don moved back to Ford Motor Co. This time he was to help a financial application get back on track. The application was the Vehicle Cost and Profitability System (VCAPS) that calculated how much it actually cost to build a car or truck. It was in trouble because of serious quality and performance issues. More time was spent fixing bugs than adding required features.
The first big change Don made was to write a unit test framework and create the first unit tests. It was a "white knuckle" assignment because he had two weeks to write code and one week to debug. The unit tests and framework took the entire first two weeks to finish.  But once the unit tests were in place the actual code only took one week to write, no debugging needed. The assignment was brought in on time with none of the expected bugs. This was a good start.
As the number of unit tests grew management noticed a one third reduction in production bugs. At that time Don was able to set up an integration station and began continuous integration and collective ownership. More Extreme Programming (XP) practices were introduced until the second XP project was running. As production bugs dropped even further the team became more productive eventually reaching a factor of ten times. This second XP project verified that XP was a viable process and C3 was not just an anomaly.
Soon after leaving the VCAPS project in 1999 Don created the website. At that time information on the XP process was either

Extreme Programming Perspectives XP Agile Universe 2002 XP Agile Universe 2003
very confusing or biased towards Smalltalk projects. There was also a great deal of discussion going on about whether or not XP would even work. Don perceived a need for a simple explanation of the basics that everyone would agree upon. Having been on two XP transformations he felt qualified to be the author.
In 2001 Angélique Thouvenin-Martin, Don Wells, and Laurie Williams organized the first American conference on Extreme Programming called XP Universe. Over the next 4 years it grew and the name changed to XP Agile Universe. Don was a key note speaker at the XP2001 conference in Italy. Don continues to serve on the program committees of the International Conference on Agile Processes and eXtreme Programming in Software Engineering (XP200x) and The International Conference on Agile Methodologies (Agile200x).
Currently Don is working on to introduce people to Agile software development. Don is a Certified Scrum Master working as a consultant, author, and lecturer on the topics of Extreme Programming and Agile transformations. Extreme Programming Home home |

Copyright 2009 Don Wells all rights reserved.