September 13, 2005
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Drag Race

Malcolm Gladwell has an interesting article in the current New Yorker, describing an experiment in adapting software techniques to industry -- in this case, to the packaged food industry. It's a drag race between three teams, all working to design a better cookie.

One team follows a traditional, managed-research approach.

One team adopts what the participants think of as "open software" style, but is actually closer in detail to a Tiger Team or an elite skunkworks.

One team follows a scheme adapted from Extreme Programming (emphasizing mostly rapid design iteration, rather than unit testing or pair programming)

Intriguing scheme. Who else has thought about XP outside the software world?