Lessons of Failure
Humans + Software Development = Always Interesting

Nov/09

13

Seven Habits of Highly Dysfunctional Enterprise Developers

With apologies to Steven Covey and Jack Ganssle, who have their own lists on the topic, I bring you the

Seven Habits of Highly Dysfunctional Enterprise Developers:

  1. Blame Everyone But Yourself
  2. Confuse Motion With Action
  3. Use Complexity To Demonstrate Intelligence
  4. Keep Important Information Secret And Safe
  5. Fix It Later
  6. Reuse Is Overrated
  7. Principles Are More Important Than Results

Blame Everyone But Yourself

finger-pointing2

Who me?

There’s always plenty of people on enterprise software projects.  Everyone shares the responsibility…and the blame.  Developers often use this situation to deflect the blame.  I call this the Code Kingdom Problem.  That’s not MY code, it’s YOUR codeI didn’t write that module, S/HE did…And so on.  Maybe this statement rings a bell:

“Hey Bob, since you wrote that parsing module and the bug that came up seems to be a parsing error, why don’t you fix it?

Tempting though this may be, consider the collateral damage caused by this causal remark:

  • Bob may resent you pointing out his failures
  • Bob may not want to collaborate with you on future work
  • Bob may not recommend you on future jobs
  • Bob may spit in your coffee when you’re not looking

Rather than risk Bob’s heinous salivary wrath, why not proactively fix the problem (Cooperative Code Sharing), or help Bob find it and suggest a fix if Bob is struggling with it? (Pair programming).  Bottom line:  Their is no MY code vs. YOUR code.  It’s OUR code. If you’re on the project, you share it all–failure, success, or mediocrity.  You can’t have pride of ownership without ownership.

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