October 9, 2007

The Most Dangerous Code

Over the last few months, there has been a gradual exodus from my department at work. As a result, I am currently the only programmer in the department.

In some ways, it's kind of nice coding solo. Because it's my design, I know the requirements, how all of the pieces fit together, what pieces can be reused elsewhere with a little extra design work and so on.

However, there is a hidden trap in coding solo. We are limited to our own experience and points of view. When we program with others, we benefit from code review as well as having sounding boards that we can bounce our thoughts off of. When coding solo, your own coding gremlins run around unchallenged. Your limited perspective runs unchecked through the design. You may miss the easy solution to a problem or the elephant-sized hole in the middle of your implementation.

I find myself coding a lot slower and doing more research to try to minimize the risks involved with coding alone, but you can never eliminate those risks completely.

What techniques do you use do keep the quality of your code up when you are coding alone?

1 comment:

Tom said...

I cross my fingers. ;)