Tuesday, October 7, 2008

12 Steps to Better Code

I read this one before it showed up on the reading list :) Very good article. If more dev shops followed Joel's 12, our job would be much more enjoyable. Restated here for completeness, every successful software team should pass the following 12 tests:

The Joel Test
1. Do you use source control?
2. Can you make a build in one step?
3. Do you make daily builds?
4. Do you have a bug database?
5. Do you fix bugs before writing new code?
6. Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
7. Do you have a spec?
8. Do programmers have quiet working
9. Do you use the best tools money can buy?
10. Do you have testers?
11. Do new candidates write code during their
12. Do you do hallway usability testing?

If you answered 'no' to more than 2 of these, you're not doing things properly. Pokes holes into some common patterns seen in software houses these days, like the low-walled cubicle bullpens and pushing off bugs to the end of the iteration. I think this is one that every developer and manager should commit to memory, but I certainly wouldn't call it science.

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