It has been my first “Panel”, so I first of all I would like to introduce you to he talk “format”. In a Panel there are a number of analysts who express their opinion about the current discussion, after that the attendees ask about a specific concern or just participate with their own opinion. It’s nice to see the grade of participation of the OOPSLA Attendees.
The topic covered was if the “Onsite Customer” principle that XP promotes, it’s a fad or fashion. I liked the panel because we can hear the real experiences of developers with or without a customer. I could not get any conclusions due to the variety of the questions and answers, however I would like to mention a comment about what’s happen when the customer it’s the Government.
In Government projects we have the challenge (currently I work in a development for a Government ) of “unknown customer”, I mean there is no single person who can integrate in our team because the functionality that we are creating is for different people spread around different government divisions. The other fact is the money they invest it’s not “their money”, so the don’t care the same way as if it was a usual investment. Also we found that the schedule of the project it’s being motivating by political reasons. With this scenario it’s very difficult to get an OnSite Customer
However the only thing I learned it’s that governments only believe in real successful experiences of different people, so if we want an OnSiteCustomer we should try to “sell” the same experience from a different project.