Sunday, February 10, 2008

Having pride is key to quality

What is it that brings about quality programming? Is it just having great processes? Lots of people have the ability and the knowledge. So what stops them from doing something great? There are a lot of good developers but the good developers become great developers when they start taking pride in what they do. If a developer writes a piece of code and he has the courage to display it to everyone else and say "I did that" then I can assure you that it will be something of quality. If the work is not one of quality then the person will not have the courage to put it out there and stand up to the scrutiny and criticism.

I think it is for this same reason the quality of code that is in open source is a lot better than the quality of code that comes out of institutionalized development. The reason is because the developers write the code and put it out there for use and scrutiny and they have nothing to earn from it other than pride and popularity.

So the question is - if you have a group of developers and you have great processes then are you guaranteed quality output. Well based on the maturity of the process you will be guaranteed some level of quality but it will come to you at a price. If you can get the developers to take pride in what they are doing to the extent that they are open to have their work scrutinized and challenge others to find fault with what they are doing you will achieve quality output at a much cheaper cost.

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You do what you are

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