The Source Code is the Design?

Dec 1st, 2002 by Tony in Questioning XP

Small teams need generalists who can take a project from start to finish in a very small time. Passing information from one person to another makes no real sense, because the time it takes to communicate all the necessary details just slows down the process. In the old days, the coding work would have been handed off, because programming used to be very slow. With a modern object-oriented programming language, and a good development environment, the coding can be fast enough that a handoff is no longer necessary. In the time it would take to write a detailed program specification, the designer can have the program written and tested.

XP teams tackle larger projects, so it makes sense to specialize and have some handoffs. The choice that XP makes is to keep as many as possible of the design-related activities concentrated in one role – the programmer. It then makes the customer responsible for capturing the requirements and handing them off to the programmers and the testers, who are responsible for automating the acceptance tests. In this way, XP tries to function as much as possible like a very small team.

— Pete McBreen, Questioning Extreme Programming, Chapter 11

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