For questions relating to the process of developing software.

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11
votes
5answers
583 views

What should I do if I don't have any formal spec? [duplicate]

I recently was assigned to a task, but it says only a couple of words, like, do it as it made there, with no actual spec attached. What is the best thing to do in that circumstances?
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What is “egoless programming”?

I first heard this term about fifteen years ago. My understanding is similar to that described in the Wikipedia article and a TechRepublic article: you work with your colleagues in a "friendly, ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

How do you deal with changing requirements?

In my current job it feels like we have a lot requirement changes. We are an "Agile" shop, so I get that we are supposed to adjust and what not, but sometime the change is large and nothing trivial. ...
11
votes
4answers
499 views

Is it wrong to use Agile when clients' requirements don't change at all?

I have seen a lot of posts recently saying that one of the major reasons why Agile is used is because clients often change the requirements. However, let's say the clients do not change the ...
11
votes
3answers
635 views

Introducing a new JVM programming language into an established enterprise environment

Imagine that your current workplace is a Java shop. There is a lot of built-up knowledge about the Java language and there is a comprehensive build and deployment process in place to handle everything ...
11
votes
7answers
837 views

How do you manage a complexity jump?

It seems an infrequent but common experience that sometimes you're working on a project and suddenly something turns up unexpectedly, throws a massive spanner in the works and ramps up the complexity ...
11
votes
3answers
531 views

What is Configuration Management?

In all projects that I have been involved with that have had input from an outside consultant the question has been asked about what sort of Configuration Management we were using. In none of these ...
11
votes
3answers
439 views

How to roll out a feature to only a select few users

A good example of what I'm trying to ask about would be Facebook's new Timeline feature. In the beginning, only a select few were allowed access to timeline. As the feature became more solidified in ...
10
votes
8answers
824 views

Should developers be involved in testing phases?

we are using a classical V-shaped development process. We then have requirements, architecture, design, implementation, integration tests, system tests and acceptance. Testers are preparing test cases ...
10
votes
10answers
601 views

How to keep management out of our development process

I'm a software engineer in an software development team. The last 3 years we worked for an internal customer on a new product. Now this product is finished we're going to work on major new features ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

What is a good analogy to explain how software development is different than building a bridge? [duplicate]

If you had a manager, a couple of levels above you, tell you that building software is like building a bridge, how would you respond to that? If this manager truly believes that we should be able to ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you keep your unit tests working when refactoring?

In another question, it was revealed that one of the pains with TDD is keeping the testing suite in sync with the codebase during and after refactoring. Now, I'm a big fan of refactoring. I'm not ...
10
votes
8answers
509 views

Moving from one man project to team project in the future. What should I be doing now in preparation and what can wait?

To elaborate I am interested in knowing what people think you need to put in place while still a one man project (team source control, documentation, builds etc) and what things don't need to be done ...
10
votes
10answers
365 views

Is a developer-driven product a good thing?

I work in a company where the CEO manages the product team, who mockup features and drop in the lap of developers to then implement said features. There is some iteration of course, developer's ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it conventional to raise a NotImplementedError for methods whose implementation is pending, but not planned to be abstract?

I like to raise a NotImplementedError for any method that I want to implement, but where I haven't gotten around to doing it yet. I might already have a partial implementation, but prepend it with ...
10
votes
8answers
711 views

How do you find time to work on Open Source Projects?

A bit of background: I've got a small open source project that I've started on, a basic framework which provides an object oriented means of generating HTML code (since I don't really like HTML, and I ...
10
votes
5answers
375 views

What are unique aspects of a software Lifecycle of an attack/tool on a software vulnerability?

At my local university, there is a small student computing club of about 20 students. The club has several small teams with specific areas of focus, such as mobile development, robotics, game ...
10
votes
5answers
394 views

In which fields does quality of the software product matter as much as the completion time?

Someone told me that if the software product meets clients expectations, it is good quality. But I've worked with Interaction Designers (the same kind of people who made Gmail's interface and ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Branching and versioning strategy for shared libraries

These posts seem related, but my brain is starting to melt, trying to think this through :P My employer has just started using source control, primarily because before they hired more developers, the ...
10
votes
4answers
675 views

How to prioritize tasks when you have multiple programming projects running in parallel?

Say you have 5 customers, you develop 2 or 3 different projects for each. Each project has Xi tasks. Each project takes from 2 to 10 man weeks. Given that there are few resources, it is desired to ...
10
votes
3answers
250 views

How do you efficiently keep your tests working as you redesign?

A well-tested codebase has a number of examples, but testing certain aspects of the system results in a codebase that is resistant to some types of change. An example is testing for specific ...
9
votes
9answers
818 views

Does code generation increase the code quality?

Arguing for code generation, I am looking for some examples of ways in which it increases code quality. To clarify what I mean by code generation, I can talk only about a project of mine: We use XML ...
9
votes
4answers
293 views

Is it common for developers to deal with extensive change control procedures?

This question requires a bit of setup, please bear with me. Last week my company rolled out a new change management procedure. Any change destined for production requires a change control record; ...
9
votes
9answers
705 views

Should development methods squash a developer's individualism?

I'm in my final semester of college and am taking a software engineering course. In the class we learn about various software development methods. The one we focused on, and used to develop our ...
9
votes
7answers
441 views

Should cases be reopened for bugs, or should bugs be opened as a new case?

Currently at my work place we use FogBugz for managing all our features and bugs for our different web applications. When a new feature is to be added to one of our web applications, a new Case is ...
9
votes
6answers
585 views

test driven development - Who should write the tests?

Originally, it is the duty of the developer to write the test, but I noticed that in many cases/e-mature developers those cases are not giving even 80% coverage. How about I have a QA person dedicated ...
9
votes
2answers
522 views

How to deal with too much pragmatism in the project?

My team and I took over a medium sized codebase over a year ago when the previous tech lead left the company. Originating from the lack of man power I fear we favored pragmatic solutions over best ...
9
votes
4answers
578 views

How important is knowing functionality before coding?

I work for a software development company where the development work have been off shored to us. The on shore team handle the support and talk directly to the clients. We never talk to the clients ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Is Agile a variant of RAD?

Wikipedia says that Agile is a type of "RAD" which I guess is incorrect. From what I know, Agile was developed becasue RAD itself was not that sucessfull in 90'S (too rigid for changes). Or am I ...
9
votes
6answers
281 views

How to make non-technical management more realistic when it comes to developing software

I manage a small in-house development team for a large organization. We develop for both internal and external clients. I find it impossible to educate the non-technical senior management about ...
9
votes
1answer
209 views

Looking for the better way to combine deep architecture refactoring with feature based development

Problem statement: Given: TFS as Source Control Heavy desktop client application with tons of legacy code with bad or almost absent architecture design. Clients constantly requiring new features ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Manufacturing vs Software Development [closed]

It's often said that the software industry is immature compared to manufacturing. Specifically with regard to being process driven. Question: Can we as developers learn from the processes of the ...
8
votes
6answers
435 views

When does it become overkill?

First off, I apologize cause I don't know how to make a community thread; so someone help me out please. As a developer, across many platforms, technologies and even on an infrastructure level; I ...
8
votes
3answers
641 views

Are XML Comments Necessary Documentation?

I used to be a fan of requiring XML comments for documentation. I've since changed my mind for two main reasons: Like good code, methods should be self-explanatory. In practice, most XML ...
8
votes
6answers
708 views

How can I complete a project as a single web developer? [closed]

I am a PHP 'developer' who codes for fun. My problem is I have never completed my large projects. Please I would like to know how experienced programmers like you are able to complete projects ...
8
votes
8answers
908 views

When developing algorithms, is skipping the pen&paper phase a bad habit? [closed]

I heard many people saying that when developing algorithms you should first use pen and paper, flowcharts and what not, so that you can focus on the algorithm itself, not worrying about the ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

How similiar should the environments of PreProd and Prod be?

I've just recently been on a project and during the release, we realized that it didn't work in Production. It works in all other environments but because we have a separate release team, and we ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What does a good “definition of done” for a mature team look like?

When looking at examples of definitions of done in various sources, they usually include points like code completed unit tests run code peer-reviewed or paired code checked in documentation updated ...
8
votes
7answers
536 views

Acceptance tests done first…how can this be accomplished?

The basic gist of most Agile methods is that a feature is not "done" until it's been developed, tested, and in many cases released. This is supposed to happen in quick turnaround chunks of time such ...
8
votes
4answers
392 views

Rapid prototyping and refactoring

Sometimes when I start a small project (like an android app), I don´t know which approach will work out at the end, and I just go for one approach and give it a try. But if I never used this approach ...
8
votes
8answers
417 views

Programmers doing testing

I am wondering how typical it is for programmers to switch hats and do testing on each other's work. Assume that the team wants to take a "shared responsibility" approach to moving tasks from being ...
8
votes
5answers
764 views

I'm tasked with leading the documentation effort for an existing, entirely undocumented, software product - what resources are there to help me?

I'm a software developer at a technology company. I have been tasked with leading the documentation effort for the product I work on. The goal is to produce documentation internal to developer, and ...
8
votes
3answers
247 views

How best to involve junior developer in designing an application from scratch? [closed]

We are a team of 3 developers (2 experienced devs and a junior). We just started a brand new project. We've designed the application, concentrated efforts on choosing the right architecture and now ...
8
votes
4answers
244 views

What are some things to be aware of when getting ready to hand a project off?

I'm current the sole developer/architect of a fairly large web application (ASP.NET MVC stack, roughly 150K+ lines of code) and the end of development is on the horizon. As such, I'm starting to think ...
8
votes
11answers
552 views

Which approach to follow for developing applications targeting multiple platforms?

For applications targeting multiple platforms, I see mainly two development approaches- Go for some JAVA-like development platform. Have one code solution and let the intermediate runtime handle ...
8
votes
4answers
453 views

Consultant in a firm that doesn't understand the tech! [closed]

I got the job as a Consultant in a firm that has 3 other programmers. My job is to rewrite all the old system in Java, Spring etc but the staff programmers only know perl and the manager does not know ...
8
votes
5answers
416 views

Leadership does not see value in standard process for machine configuration and new developer orientation

About 3 months ago our lead web developer and designer(same person) left the company, greener pastures was the reason for leaving. Good for them I say. My problem is that his department was completely ...
8
votes
6answers
205 views

How do you create a software process for a project?

As I've written about in other questions here, the project that I'm working on now has no software process. That means no documentation (including hard copy requirements or specification), no source ...
8
votes
1answer
422 views

User Stories with design elements in Scrum

We're implementing a Scrum workflow and I'm trying to wrap my head around user stories, when they're completed, iterations, etc. One thing we often do is work on a story during an early iteration, get ...
8
votes
1answer
322 views

What is “train” based development?

I ran across yet another new term in development methodology, and I haven't been able to find a definition for it. Specifically, it's called "train based development." Here are some examples of ...