Good and bad habits

Craig Bailey pointed over to this older post by Paul Stovell – Craig’s comments on the matter (speaking as a software manager) are just as insightful as Paul’s and it reminds me of a recent discussion I was having with a colleague on our FoxPro projects. Paul’s triangle diagram is wonderful – you have Resume quality code, production quality code and then prototype quality.

We typically set up a variety of milestones to go through projects, regardless of how small the project may be – and yet invariably, something can jump up – not unlike what’s described in BugBash today – and thus throws the entire milestone process into a state of flux. “You have to get this done” or “help this person out” and at the end of the day, time isn’t being taken to go through the various steps of the milestones.

We spec’d out a piece of work for an outsourcing resource recently and after reviewing the phase 1 and phase 2 milestones, the comment was “well, why not do it all in one piece?”

Sure, if you’ve got 10 separate pieces of code to write, why not write them all and THEN review them? (anyone care to guess why?)

We recently wrote up a series of coding guidelines for our outsourcing resources that we use as our primary code review (I mentioned a similar concept in an earlier post) – but one of the milestone steps we always try to incorporate both ways is simply a basic review. While you may not have time to do a proper code review, when handing off work to any resource, it’s always useful just to have that “reality check”, both on the phone and via shared screens.

One of the challenges? We’re all in different locations. We use a variety of tools for this – none seems to do the job properly.

Anyone else face this problem? How do YOU deal with it?

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