The Joel Spolsky Test: 12 Steps to Better Code
You get 1 point for each “yes”. Score of 12 is perfect, 11 is tolerable, but 10 or lower and you’ve got serious problems:
- Do you use source control? Source control makes it easier for programmers to work together.
- Can you make a build in one step? If the process takes any more than one step, it is prone to errors.
- Do you make daily builds? It makes sure no breakage goes unnoticed.
- Do you have a bug database? If you haven’t been listing all known bugs in the code, you will ship low-quality code.
- Do you fix bugs before writing new code? The longer you wait before fixing a bug, the costlier - both in time and in money - it is to fix.
- Do you have an up-to-date schedule? The only way to factor in planning decisions is to have a schedule and to keep it up to date.
- Do you have a spec? Once the code is written, the cost of fixing problems is dramatically higher.
- Do programmers have quiet working conditions? Knowledge workers work best by getting into ‘flow, or ‘‘in the zone’.
- Do you use the best tools money can buy? Getting the best machines will stop programmers from getting bored while the compiler runs.
- Do you have testers? Skimping on testers is a false economy.
- Do new candidates write code during their interview? Would you hire a caterer for your wedding without tasting their food?
- Do you do hallway usability testing? Grabbing the next person that passes by in the hallway and ask them to try to use the code you just wrote.
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