[Chugalug] OT bugs and code quality

Ryan Bales thinkt4nk at gmail.com
Fri Mar 14 14:45:35 UTC 2014

tl;dr: A lot of code quality issues are due to carelessness.  If you can
help your developers rediscover their love for their craft, they'll start
caring about their work again.

I've found that fostering a culture of code worship goes a long way toward
maintaining code quality.  If you're hiring the right people, you're hiring
people who started writing code because they enjoyed it at some level.
 Sometimes, though, functional requirements, user stories, morning
stand-up's, and all of the other devices we've created to direct a
developer's passion toward serving business goals, all help to dispel the
notion that our work is a labor of love.

Everyone knows that fatigued teams make more mistakes.  We often, simply
chalk this up to too much work, taxed minds.  I think, though, that it has
more to do with shifts in perceptions of work as a joyful, satisfying
labor, to work as mere toil.  I don't know about you, but when I don't care
about what I'm doing, I don't pay attention.

If you regularly spend time with your team, just worshiping code, admiring
expressive, beautiful code, and improving faulty or complicated code, I
think you'll find that your team's code quality will improve.  Sometimes
I'll review one of our team member's code, other times we'll review some
rockstar's code on github.  We'll even look at code in different languages,
as long as everyone is generally familiar with the paradigm (e.g. I
wouldn't just jump into some Haskell with a PHP team).

Disclaimer: I've found this works when you have at least one or two
developers who enjoy what they do and are willing to participate.  If you
do, the rest of the team will begin to participate over time.  This, of
course, assumes that you've done a decent job of hiring your dev team.
 Having had some success with this in the past, I attempted this with a
team that I adopted in a new position.  The developers were so burned-out
and disgruntled, that I had little success with this approach.

So much of our success is dependent upon cultivating a healthy, happy

Ryan Bales

On Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 8:43 AM, Ed King <chevyiinova at bellsouth.net> wrote:

> I've seen software written by fortune500 refugees that is just as
> buggy/unmaintanable as any other stuff I've ever seen, despite all the
> fancy tools used and money spent
> bugs are gonna happen, best thing you can do is to keep the complexity
> down, and hire/keep people who care who can fix the bugs quickly and learn
> from the mistake
> if you've got an MVC system that is "7 layers deep"  in abtraction and a
> framework that only the writer of the framework understands, then you get
> what you deserve for letting it get that complex
> I consider myself quiet fortunate to be on a small team (3 programmers and
> a QA person) who have all been with the company for at least 6 years and we
> know the system and how it works, and despite getting paid peanuts and no
> bonuses, we still care about our work, and I really think that keeps a lot
> of our bugs down
> plus we're all good lookin,  that helps.
>   ------------------------------
>  *From:* Christopher Rimondi <chris.rimondi at gmail.com>
> *To:* CHUGALUG <chugalug at chugalug.org>
> *Sent:* Friday, March 14, 2014 9:17 AM
> *Subject:* [Chugalug] OT bugs and code quality
> For those of you are on/lead teams of developers or engineers what do you
> do keep everyone focused on reducing bugs and thinking through the impact
> of changes? I get there is a lot that can be done with unit and integration
> testing and formal QA. However, what I am asking centers more on keeping
> quality front and center in the team's mindset.
> There is probably no easy answer to this but, how do you separate bugs
> that are caused from "moving fast/meeting deadlines" versus we probably
> should have caught this one?
> --
> Chris Rimondi | http://twitter.com/crimondi | securitygrit.com
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