XPSD Intros (Last Edit: Feb 13 2006 04:16:02)
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Referenced By: CurrentMembers

I noticed that there are a lot of new members in the past month or so. In the past, we have asked people to try to identify themselves by anwering some basic questions about their backgroup and experience with XP. Answering these questions is completely voluntary.


Web site?

Based in?

Employed by?

Industry Experience?

Project Experience?

Recent Skills?

XP experience?

Why I like XP?

If I was allowed only one XP practice, what would it be? Why?

If I got two, what would the second be? Why?

Weird Techie Factoid?
Name: Carlton Nettleton

Web site: /cgi-bin/wiki?CarltonNettleton

Based in : Mission Beach

Employed by: SAIC

Industry Experience: 5 yrs

Project Experience: creating web applications for business intranets, the Department of Defense and for educators

Recent Skills: ASP (3 yrs), C# (2 year)

XP experience: 8 months, ASP web application and 18 months XPForOne? ASP web application.

Why I like XP: I love the idea of pressing a button and knowing if your software is OK. I also like the XP idea of focusing on quality in order to go fast and creating a cooperative work environment.

If I was allowed only one XP principle, I'd do: Testing

Why?: Unit testing is so important to me that I get very uncomfortable when I try to write code without tests. AT are just as important, but I still have not figured out a good way to make them easy for me and my customers.

If I got two, the second would be: Iteration & Release Planning

Why?: I love getting out the cards, writing up stories and then shuffling them up to get the right ammount of stories for the iteration and/or release. I enjoy watching the customer labor over what cards to pick.

Weird Techie Factoid: my first programming language was Fortran77. It seemed so hard and complicated (to a 19-year-old), that is made me into a geologist.
Name: John Arrizza

Web site: www.arrizza.com (use IE6!)

Based in : San Diego near UCSD

Employed by: Nokia

Industry Experience: 16 yrs

Project Experience: mostly shrinkwrapped s/w for businesses, mostly middleware or back-end work, very little GUI/web work.

Recent Skills: C (6 yrs) VB (2yrs), C# 6 months, Java off and on

XP experience: 1 project, 6 months, mostly VB Web App, a bit of C & Java

Why I like XP: it recognizes the actual mechanics of how good S/W is built and has principles/procedures that address those. Also I believe that S/W development is a complex (as in chaotic) activity and therefore requires an integrated plan of attack. XP addresses that complexity using high feedback and supplies principles to use that feedback to remove complexity.

If I was allowed only one XP principle, I'd do: Iteration Planning

Why?: The key to a successful software _project_ is the communication/interface between the people that want the software done and the developers. Iteration Planning works very well from a developer's point of view, and the non-engineering participants seem to like it as well. Even if I couldn't do the ATs? and UTs?, I could still deliver the code the company wanted.

If I got two, the second would be: Acceptance Testing

Why?: AT's cover a lot of the software execution space and provide very high feedback about the code stability.

Weird Techie Factoid: I owned my first computer in 1977. From what I can gather, that means I owned one of the first 100,000 personal computers on the planet (there's been ~1B sold to date). Bill Gates came out with Basic a year or so prior. He made $47B, I didn't :)


Paul Hodgetts

> Web site?


> Based in?

Fullerton, Orange County

> Employed by?

President & Principal Consultant at Agile Logic

> Industry Experience?

20 years as a developer, architect, technical project manager, consultant... (see my bio on the web site for the gory details)

> Project Experience?

Lots of projects over the years. Five XP projects as coach and developer, and occasionally manager, over the past three years.

> Recent Skills?

I'm always learning. As far as Agile skills, recently I've learned more about integrating QA into the process, and developing specific customer practices. As far as other skills, lately I've gotten into some hard-core presentation-side Java stuff with Struts and JSTL, and I keep discovering more dark corners of J2EE every week. ;-)

> XP experience?

Three continuous years of XP projects, most of them from inception. I've coached all these teams, and actively participated as a developer on all but one. I've done all the practices (well, I've done metaphor as much as I can understand it ;-), and most projects have done all 12 all the time. The past couple of projects have been project recovery efforts, where I had to come in and introduce or re-establish an agile process to a project that had gone off the rails. Both projects are now doing fine.

> Why I like XP?

I get to deliver software that works and that the customer needs with a minimal amount of pain and a good deal of personal satisfaction.

> If I was allowed only one XP principle, what would it be? Why?

(Note I'm paying attention, you said *principle* not *practice* -- did you mean practice?)

Rapid Feedback - because first, we've got to compare our actual results against some testable goal, and second, we have to do that often enough to allow small corrections and reasonably efficient development.

> If I got two, what would the second be? Why?

Assume Simplicity - because as developers we've created a culture where the clever solutions have value simply because they are clever, and we've got to get away fro that and back to actually solving the problem with the most minimal, but appropriate solution. We can do so much more if we stop trying to over-build everything.

> Weird Techie Factoid?

Amazingly, the *first* high-level language I learned in college back in 1979 was an object-oriented language -- Simula at UCI.

Regards, Paul

Name? Bill Kelly

Web site? /BillKelly

Based in? San Diego

Employed by? self; now working for http://www.camerabits.com/

Industry Experience? 14 years professionally, 20 years programming

Project Experience? 2d & 3d video games; network protocols; data mining & visualization; html layout engine & renderer

Recent Skills? More about configuring an OS X server so far than I ever wanted to know; BREW platform for cell phone applications; Ruby, Python, Java, Perl, SQL, . . .

XP experience? one project; brief description on my xpsd page

Why I like XP? The most trying / depressing / aggravating aspects of software development for me had become: watching the codebase deteriorate over time and become more complex, buggy, and highly coupled; tracking down other peoples' bugs late into the night, who would just cut & paste more code the next day, creating more duplication, coupling, and additional bugs; death-marches associated with impossible deadlines we stupidly agreed to, and then re-agreed to as the previous one was missed and pushed out a little farther; lack of communication between developers and propriatery ownership of modules; overdesign, creating more complexity up front in an effort to save time by introducing a framework supposedly able to support every feature we would ever need (one of my own worst anti-patterns of yore); . . .

What I like about XP is that it addresses all these problems (and more) head on, and, it's actually a fun way to work, too!

If I was allowed only one XP principle, what would it be? Why?

As Paul noted, if we mean principles, I'm for Feedback and Simple Design... If I were allowed only one practice, it would probably be Test-Driven Design.

(I think it would be hard to practice TDD without Refactoring, so I'm assuming we'd get sort of a two-for-one here. :)

If I got two, what would the second be? Why?

Pair Programming; but I think Whole Team (in one room) is is almost vitally important as well.

Weird Techie Factoid?

Found an 8th grade notebook of mine, within which, inbetween homework assignments, were scribbled notes and source code for raw disk sector read-write routines and low-level IBM CGA display routines... most of it was in Forth. :)



Name: Ryan Thoma

Web site: N/A

Based in: San Diego

Employed by: BAE Systems

Industry Experience: 9 years professionally, 18 years programming

Project Experience: Mainly focused around J2EE web applications and web services. Some past projects included: Debt Consolidation Loan website for GE (“to turn you debt into one easy monthly payment”), Lottery Account Betting System (accessible via web, wireless, voice/telephone), B2B extranet for a wholesaler to integrate with partners, dot-com travel portal, etc.

Recent Skills: Learning more about SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture)

XP experience: Involved with establishing a custom tailored, agile development process at multiple different companies.

Why I like XP: I’m practical and interested in delivering great software that meets real customer needs -- XP is well suited in both respects.

If I was allowed only one XP principle, what would it be: Rapid feedback is definitely something I have seen to be very fruitful in my past experiences.

Weird Techie Factoid: I still have a Commodore 64 emulator (yes, blue screen and all) that runs on Windows... purely for nostalgic purposes... although I did trick a friend once after telling them I upgraded their computer to the latest OS.


Samuel has started a trend ...

Name: Peter Merel

Website: www.xpsd.org, www.greencheese.org

Based in: Coronado, California

Employer: Till last week, Omnigon Technologies. As soon as it's incorporated, XPSD.

Experience Industry: First got paid to program 20 years ago. Been developing full time for 17 years.

Project: GreenCheese?, XPSD, Stone Society, and GNL.

Recent Skills: Python, C, Zope

XP Experience: I've coached 3.5 XP groups from go to woah (Omnigon IE group was only semi-extreme). Invented Extreme Hour and Iron Geek. Authored "The Tao of XP".

Why I like XP: It frees me from doing work I know is pointless. It allows my teams to have fun and go fast. It cranks out bug free self-documenting code reliably. It flattens the cost of change curve.

If I were allowed only one technique from XP: Test Driven Design

If I were allowed only two techniques from XP: Pair Programming.

Weird Techie Factoid: P == NP

Hi, John,

>Yahoo says there are 12 or so members in this group. I was wondering if, for >the sake of introduction, would people like to give a short bio or >background of themselves?

Nice idea. Here's me.

I'm living in Kiel, Germany, about six months into a 2.5 year contract. San Diego is "home base", though, which is why I signed up.

I haven't practiced XP yet, but I've tried some of the practices. You can read about my TDD experiences at


I've also had a number of experiences that could qualify as pair programming. I'm mentoring a couple of junior programmers here, and doing something resembling PP as part of that

I find the ideas of XP interesting and I suspect I would enjoy the process and find it productive, but I need to try it to make up my mind about it. That won't happen at my current job; maybe the next one.

I've been programming since about 1985, in fields ranging from mine engineering to genetics. Started out in Object Pascal; reluctantly moved to C, learned to love the STL, am now using VB, about which I'm violently ambivalent. I've worked a fair amount with Sybase Transact/SQL (and MS's derivative thereof) and like it.

My platform of choice has been the Mac, but with OSX my Mac is dead, so now I'm programming on Windows. It's unpleasant, but usable. My emphasis right along has been usability, but - well, I'm getting over it. The computing world doesn't seem (to me) to care about usability, so I'm working on other things.

I'm most interested in novel visualizations for scientific data; have had some neat opportunities to apply that interest in the field of genetics.

More about me and my programming is at


For two more months, you can see some of my travel pictures at

http://homepage.mac.com/cmanaster/PhotoAlbum1.html http://homepage.mac.com/cmanaster/PhotoAlbum2.html

And then I need to find another service provider...

Let's see... Outside interests? I read a lot of detective fiction, recommend K C Constantine to anyone who will listen. Hoping to learn German, but it's not happening viel schnell. Trying to use the opportunity of living here to see a little more of the world.

Tschuess, Carl
Name: Philip Craig Plumlee

Nom de Plume (ie Street Name): Phlip

Web site: www.greencheese.org/Phlip

Based in : San Diego near Carlsbad

Employed by: not

Industry Experience: 14 yrs

Project Experience: Architecture & visualization for science and engineering

Recent Skills: Python, Ruby, C, Omnigon, Linux XP experience: XpForOne?, and Omnigon (a big difference!)

Why I like XP: it makes certain helpless loser drips on USENET scream and howl like the pro victims they are.

Weird Techie Factoid:

I draw comics frantically:


Being the gods' gift to both programming and cartooning, my life's ambition is to find an employer capable of >fully< exploiting me!

My random signature generator has reminded me I also practice a genre I have since learned is called "filk". DontPlanDesigns? is a parody of a Reggae song set to pitch XP.


Name: Samuel A. Falvo II

Website: (at least, until cable company changes the IP)

Based in: Oceanside, California

Employer: Hifn, Inc.


Industry: >7 years; not exactly sure, as I've never kept close track.

Been working at Hifn for only about a year or so, spent 6 years in the ISP industry in a variety of capacities, spent at least a year helping another write custom dental software back in NY state, and I forget the rest.

Project: Web development, database back-ends, semiconductor post-silicon verification, Forth language environments, operating system kernels

Recent Skills: MLA-format documentation (Yes, I'm currently going to school. Go figure!)

XP Experience: Using XpForOne? for roughly 6 months

Why I like XP:

It works. Although I do not pair-program, keep track of project velocities, nor do I consider myself 100% productive every single day (I get burnt out a lot, especially with the politics where I work), I have noticed marked improvements in my code quality and production volume. XP consists of things I've been doing for *decades*, but never in the precise chemical formula prescribed by XP. Test First by Intention is also something new I've learned from XP, and has permanently affected how I write my software, even when I'm not being extreme. I've been chastised by my upper management and even by me peers for using Test First By Intention. I won't let them get me down though; if the technique gets me fired, so be it. At least I'll have a clear conscience about it.

If I were allowed only one technique from XP: Test First By Intention.

If I were allowed only two techniques from XP: Pair programming.

Weird Techie Factoid: As you could probably tell from my home-based wiki, I'm into engines, with a particular interest in rotary engines. I'm also an amateur astronomer, though I have gotten out to stargaze a lot lately. Also a ham radio operator (KC5TJA).

Name: William Tanksley

Web site: er... Um... :-)

Based in : Oceanside

Employed by: Data Systems and Solutions

Industry Experience: 5-6 years

Project Experience: Software to automate hardware tests, now working on a major CMM level 4 project

Recent Skills: C (3 yrs) C (7 yrs), Python, Forth, Java

XP experience: Using TDD for 4 months now...

Why I like XP: It fits into the way I work. Before I knew about XP I used a little version of the Spiral model; XP completely replaced it (although I probably should keep managing risks). It fits into the way I see other people working. It's self-motivating: every practice I've been able to try rewards itself, and immediately meshes with the others.

If I was allowed only one XP principle, I'd do: Test First. No doubt about this -- it makes coding fun again. Then I'd sneak in some refactoring, because just TRY to stop me.

If I got two, the second would be: Pair Programming. Never gotten to do this, but it seems to me that many of the other practices grow out from it.

Weird Techie Factoid: None.




Web site?

Doing intranet work... so, sorry, no links...

Based in?

I'm addicted to Microsoft, sorry...

Employed by?

Fish & Richardson P.C. www.fr.com

Industry Experience?

depends on the industry... programmer for a handful of years now.

Project Experience?

zilch.. zero.. nada.. project???

Recent Skills?

.NET stuff ... ado.net asp.net vb.net

XP experience?

see "Project Experience"

Why I like XP?

I lack a natural tendency toward organization...

If I was allowed only one XP principle, what would it be?

Pair Programming


Seems to me to be the fastest way to get some work done. I'm constantly bouncing logic off my office neighbors.

If I got two, what would the second be?

On-site Customer


Guidance, I suppose... keeps ya focused.

Weird Techie Factoid?

I went to college for an Fine Arts degree... how I ended up HERE, I have no idea... like I said, I lack a natural tendency toward organization.
Name? Van-Tuan Do

Web site? No

Based in? San Diego

Employed by? Neovi Data Corp.

Industry Experience? 9 years

Project Experience? Development of eBusiness, eCommerce software. Design of Enterprise Framework

Recent Skills? Java (2 yrs), ASP (3yrs), C# (2yrs), Relational DB (7 yrs), UML (5 yrs)

XP experience? 1 project, 6 months

Why I like XP? Neovi is a small company, XP has proved as the most efficient software process. Saw some eBusiness and eCommerce projects failed because of overanalysis and overdesign

If I was allowed only one XP principle, what would it be? Why? Rapid Feedback, I want to know what I'm doing is right for customers.

If I got two, what would the second be? Why?

If I got two, it would be simplicity. First choice XP practice would be pair programming, it's fun and productive.

Weird Techie Factoid: Software Engineering with the right (and left) brain!


+ Web site? None

+ Based in? San Diego

+ Employed by? Neovi Data Corp.

+ Industry Experience? 9 years

+ Project Experience? Design & Development of Component-Based OO Framework, Financial, e-Commerce Software, Enterprise Application Integration.

+ Recent Skills? C# (1 year), Java (2 years), Delphi (8 years), C/C (11 years)

+ XP experience? 1 year

+ Why I like XP? Light-weight, efficient & productive process

+ If I was allowed only one XP principle, what would it be? Why? Writing code is not done until unit test is complete, because it would improve software quality.

+ If I got two, what would the second be? Why? Refactoring, because Design for Change is important.

+ Weird Techie Factoid? None

Brian Janko:

My experience is a mixture of front- and back-end development for websites, though mostly front-end. I'm trying to move over the "other side" and work steadily on the back-end, being what I call a "real programmer."

I have no website to show for the moment. I have some domains on some webhosts and these are places where I experiment or test things or simply want to park my domains and often use their email addresses.

I have worked Tech Support at EarthLink?, then was the main front-end coder at WeddingChannel?.com and most recently worked for Knowledge Kids Network familyedge.com and kidsedge.com. The former tech director at my last position moved to San Diego, so he might even be on this list. He was trying to introduce XP practices into the working environment, but I believe it was hard to switch over. Also, the company's business model was in constant flux since they were trying to survive the dot com fall-out. It was hard to get anything going at all there, it seemed to me. Anyway, I did not quite grasp XP, or refactoring, and all that other stuff, right away, but I now am developing a better appreciation for its value.

Unforutnately, when I moved down here to San Diego last summer, I found that the market was very tight and mostly the high-tech end is being advertised for. Like I said, I have skills going from front-end toward the back-end and so my mid-level skills are not helping me find jobs to apply for much less interview for. Therefore, I have been trying to fill in some knowledge gaps and considering just consulting, or running my own shop, getting my own clients.

Until I get a job or expand my own business, I probably won't be able to take advantage of the pair programming aspect of XP, but would like to employ whatever practices I can, especially test-driven development. I believe this will speed my learning progress.

I like XP b/c it seems simple and elegant, and efficient. If allowed only one XP principle it would be testing; if two, I would add refactoring.... (if three, I would probably go for pair programming).

Weird Techie Factoid? I used to be one. But since I was recently refactoid'd, I think I'm only a weird techie at the moment.


John Tobler

Web site?


Based in?

San Diego, CA

Employed by?

http://www.edmin.com/ (Director of Software Engineering).

Industry Experience?

First Fortran IV program in 1962 on IBM 1401.

Project Experience?

Micro to macro.

Recent Skills?

Senior .NET Architect

XP experience?

I was doing XP in Smalltalk before it was even named (thanks to paying attention to Kent Beck's ramblings). I had a lot of fun learning from John Sarkela and some other Smalltalk XP'ers.

Why I like XP?

Actually, these days I fall more in the "agile" camp, as I do not consider the XP techniques to be extreme -- they're normal. As an individual who has committed almost every possible software engineering sin -- and who, hopefully, has learned from these mistakes -- I fully appreciate the need for agile principles and practices. I like "XP" because it works in many of the contexts in which I find myself.

If I was allowed only one XP practice, what would it be? Why?

Without hesitation: test-driven development: http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?TestDrivenDevelopment and http://www.testdriven.com/. To me, it's what makes everything else possible.

If I got two, what would the second be? Why?

Do the simplest thing that could possibly work: hhttp://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?DoTheSimplestThingThatCouldPossiblyWork? (BUG: I had to put something right here to avoid having the period become part of the URL).

The third, for which you didn't ask, would be ...

refactoring: http://www.refactoring.com/.

Weird Techie Factoid?

Well, http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22techie+factoid%22 (BUGS: you have to separate periods from URLs and note that complex URLs do not format properly, they seem to blow up after an ampersand). I was amused to discover that "factoid" appears in several dictionaries: http://onelook.com/?w=factoid&ls=a (BUG). This is not at all "techie" but there is a factoid site at http://www.factoid.org/ (BUG).

Note: I reported some of these site bugs at TextFormattingRules?.

Name? UnnsseKhan

Based in? San Diego, CA

Employed by? Seeking next software development position.

Industry Experience? 4 years

Project Experience? J2EE enterprise application development

Recent Skills? Ruby

XP experience? 5 professional projects under my belt

Why I like XP? Makes software development fun and produces quality software.

If I was allowed only one XP practice, what would it be? Why?

Pair Programming, because two minds are better than one.

If I got two, what would the second be? Why?

Test First / Test Driven Development.

Helps ensure a clean design and sets one up to refactor.

Weird Techie Factoid?

Started programming on a Commodore 64 and Apple //e. :)