Sunday, July 1, 2012


I believe in small increments: post a documentation bug here, correct a java doc or spelling error there, replace a Vector with an ArrayList when the collection is a local variable and you do not need synchronization, format a code paragraph. All this while marching on with your completely unrelated coding task.

Can't help it, but I always imagine a Grand Display, showing the product quality percentage, being run by a divine power that simply knows how to calculate it; and my change pushes that percentage up, indeed with a tiny increment, but still up, towards green.
Small and insignificant may they be, but the power of an entire crowd of developers doing small changes can be of a big importance to the product - a game changer long-term, for your next releases, for the maintainability of the product (something that the super power running the Grand Display did not teach us how to measure), because carefully crafted code and documentation will ask for code and documentation of the same quality level from the future commiters.

So encourage this practice to become contagious. Those that are likely to get infected first are those that can't help monitoring the source control commits. Don't think about your boss, but about the component owners with an interest in the component quality, the ambitious juniors that want to learn from others' code and those that want to make a name by finding other developers' bugs - all of them will appreciate your small increments.

Additionally, a trick to get more eyes to see your aesthetics changes is to include the files with small increments as part of the code review package for the bigger feature.

No, I am not preaching to occupy your time doing small changes - the vast majority of your time should go to changing the world. But big changes are never polished enough, so they will need the magic touch of small code increments.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

incredibly optimistic

Mgr_to_become_dev (MTBD): I see so much garbage around, that I become excited at the chance of cleaning it - I see opportunities to fix code and simplify everywhere.

Mgr_of_a_peer_mgr (MPM): yeah, it's so easy to do something and have a good impact.

MTBD: ... turning red into green.

MPM: I am the optimistic type, it is how I am, once I commit to something.

MTBD: I think there is no other way, after you rule out being neutral.

Now, press 1 if you think this is a real dialogue, press 2 if you think it is a cheap one stolen from "How to engage your employees" by Managers.