A couple of developers here at Fog Creek have spent the last day or so doing 'extreme programming' ... actually pair programming, which is all anybody remembers about extreme programming...
Conclusion: it's very effective when you have a long list of small bug fixes you want to sprint through, because you can reach incredible velocity. Typos and small bugs get caught right away.
But you can't stop and concentrate, so it's probably not so useful for longer programming tasks. Another caveat: personal synergy is crucial. It's like being a cop: if you don't like your partner, it's one of the less pleasant rings of hell! (Luckily, rule #0 in Fog Creek hiring is no jerks.)
You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.
I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, which lets you organize anything, together, FogBugz, enlightened issue tracking software for bug tracking, and Kiln, which provides distributed version control and code reviews. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.