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SkepticismLeadsToUnderstanding [add child]

Skepticism leads to Understanding

For over four years the enthusiasm and energy of the XP/Agile community has been nearly overwhelming. The rest of the industry is still reeling with the onslaught of agile-this, and agile-that. However, that enthusiasm now needs to be tempered with a healthy dose of skepticism.

I'm not talking about skepticism that's negative and cold. I'm talking about healthy skepticism that doubts anything that is not well understood and demonstrated with empirical data. A skeptic is a person who looks closely and dispassionately at things. When a skeptic finally decides to use something like XP, it's because he understands it, not because he believes in it.

For years I was an OO enthusiast. It was not until I became an OO skeptic that I started understanding what OO was really all about. Oddly enough that understanding led me to be able to teach others what OO was about, and to sell a great number of skeptics that OO would actually be good for them. I anticipate the same kind of conversion with the XP/Agile disciplines. As we look carefully and dispationately at why and when these methods work, and when they don't we will understand them much better, and be able to teach that understanding to many others.


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