Developers: You are NOT special…

Software development is still a pretty immature industry. It’s very cheap to get started and essentially anyone can enter the arena. Obviously immature processes are not scalable to large endeavors, nor will hold up over time or personal changes. In particular, naming or code conventions are very important – and frequently hated by developers.

I had a conversation with a design engineer working at a domestic automobile manufacturer regarding standards. I asked of the impact to the company if designers could create blueprints/drawings by which ever manner they wanted. For example, the dimension arrows could be open or closed, wide or narrow; title blocks could be anywhere on the page; and so on. His response: “That would shut the company down immediately.”

In other words, having standard communication formats for blueprints is very valuable for the company. Mankind has been using blueprints to communicate for probably a couple hundred years now. In fact, in high school drafting class, we were instructed exactly how to create blueprints. The value of the blueprint is communication of the content.

With software development, many consider ourselves as “artisans”. Our style is best and the rest of humanity will come around. In the unlikely even this occurs, please be aware that even companies such as Microsoft are updating their tools (Visual Studio 2017) to enforce code formatting.

Notice that this is done by the IDE or source control system. It’s not a document you have to memorize. Also, each team can customize it for themselves and grow as a team. Success will be when one cannot discern who wrote what, rather we simply focus on material content.

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Developers: You are NOT special…

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