What Is Reasonable to Expect from Your IDE

If you're a software developer, there's a decent chance you've been embroiled in the debate over integrated development environments (IDEs) versus text editors. Users of IDEs will tell you that they facilitate productivity to a degree that makes them indispensable, … [Read more...]

Collaborating with Outsiders to the Dev Team

Developer news sites, blogs, books, and tutorials tend to speak at length about how developers should collaborate with one another to maximize team effectiveness. The subject of how developers should collaborate with people outside of the dev team often gets shorter shrift, … [Read more...]

The Importance of Targeted Code Review for Regulated Industries

For a lot of people out there developing software, life is pretty simple. I say this not because there's anything simple about software development, but because life around the practice of software development is simple. You come in, spend the day doing what the software … [Read more...]

How Reviewing Strangers’ Code on GitHub Can Make You a Better Programmer

I make part of my living these days as an IT management consultant, and in this capacity, I've developed an interesting niche: evaluation of codebases. Specifically, an organization's management will bring me in to spend a week or two looking through a codebase, sizing it … [Read more...]

Code Review Beyond Meeting Rooms and Projectors

It must have been a decade ago. I was sitting in a spaciously appointed conference room around a large, round table, surrounded by fellow software developers from my company. Coffee and bright lights notwithstanding, we were all struggling to varying degree to keep … [Read more...]

Defining Developer Collaboration

A certain ideal of rugged individualism has always permeated programmer culture, at least in some circles. It’s easy enough for writing code to be a highly solitary activity. There’s a clear set of rules, output is a function of input, feedback is automated, and the … [Read more...]

The Hidden Time-Saving Benefits of Code Reviews

Physical labor is one of the most strangely enduring mental models for knowledge work. Directors and managers of software development the world over reactively employ it when nudged out of their comfort zones, for instance. "What do you mean 'pair programming' -- we'll … [Read more...]

How to Actually Reduce Software Defects

As an IT management consultant, the most frequent question I hear is some variant of “how can we get our defect count down?” Developers may want this as a matter of professional pride, but it’s the managers and project managers that truly burn to improve on this metric. … [Read more...]

Source Control and Code Review: What Developers Need to Know

I can think back to times in my career that the source control that I was using (or not using) made me a cranky, unhappy human being. Years and years ago, there was the time that a co-worker accidentally left all of the files in the codebase checked out through Visual … [Read more...]

What a Software Audit Means for You

“We’re being audited.” Now there’s a sentence to strike fear into anyone’s heart. The most famous and iconic example of an audit is the dreaded IRS audit. This audit is the IRS’s way of saying, “you did something wrong during the course of an extremely byzantine process … [Read more...]