Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals.

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27
votes
12answers
4k views

Dealing with bad/incomplete/unclear specifications? [duplicate]

I'm working on a project where our dev team gets the specifications from the business part of the company. Both the business management and the IT management require estimates and deadline ...
49
votes
11answers
7k views

Metric by which to hold developers accountable [duplicate]

I asked a question on lines of code per hour and got torn a new one. So my matured follow-up question is this: If not lines of code, then what is a good metric by which to measure (by the ...
63
votes
13answers
15k views

What “version naming convention” do you use? [closed]

Are different version naming conventions suited to different projects? What do you use and why? Personally, I prefer a build number in hexadecimal (e.g 11BCF), this should be incremented very ...
324
votes
29answers
50k views

Why can't the IT industry deliver large, faultless projects quickly as in other industries?

After watching National Geographic's MegaStructures series, I was surprised how fast large projects are completed. Once the preliminary work (design, specifications, etc.) is done on paper, the ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

What to plan before starting development on a project?

Say I've received the specs for a project from a client, and now its time to start developing it. Normally, I just start with the first module (usually user registration) and then go from one module ...
10
votes
7answers
928 views

Rule of thumb for cost vs. savings for code re-use [duplicate]

Is it a good rule of thumb to always write code for the intent of re-using it somewhere down the road? Or, depending on the size of the component you are writing, is it better practice to design it ...
86
votes
12answers
5k views

Best practices for sharing tiny snippets of code across projects

I always try to follow the DRY principle strictly at work; every time I've repeated code out of laziness it bites back later when I need to maintain that code in two places. But often I write small ...
20
votes
3answers
964 views

Advice/guidelines for managing a distributed development team [duplicate]

What are some strategies, methodologies and best-practices for managing a distributed team? What can be done to encourage and enforce communication between the various team members? Is it possible ...
31
votes
12answers
3k views

How possible is it to estimate time for programming projects? [duplicate]

It seems like it is nearly impossible to get close because you could run into any number of issues and things not first anticipated. How close can we be expected to reasonably estimate? Our PM wants ...
23
votes
6answers
1k views

What actions to take when people leave the team? [duplicate]

Recently one of our key engineers resigned. This engineer has co-authored a major component of our application. We are not hitting Truck number yet though, but we're getting close :) Before the guy ...
152
votes
14answers
9k views

How do you balance between “do it right” and “do it ASAP” in your daily work?

I find myself pondering over this question from time to time, again and again. I want to do things the right way: to write clean, understandable and correct code that is easy to maintain. However, ...
142
votes
29answers
10k views

Offshoring: does it ever work?

I know there has been a fair amount of discussion on here about outsourcing/offshoring, and the general opinion seems to be that at best it is difficult, and at worst it fails. I have direct ...
49
votes
4answers
2k views

How to explain to a non-technical person why the task will take much longer than they think?

Almost every developer has to answer questions from business side like: Why is going to take 2 days to add this simple contact form? When a developer estimates this task, they may divide it into ...
81
votes
12answers
6k views

How big does my project need to be for me to unit test it? [closed]

I assume that my project is decoupled enough to allow for unit testing. But how big, exactly, in terms of clases and functions does my project need to be to make unit testing worthwhile? We all make ...
29
votes
5answers
2k views

How do you convince management to “invest” in unit tests?

How did you convince your manager to let you unit test? By "use", I mean being allowed to develop, check-in to source control and maintain the unit tests over time, etc. Typical management ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

How does one become a leader in a team of programmers? [duplicate]

What skills, knowledge and talents should a junior programmer aim to obtain in order to be qualified to become a team leader?
14
votes
4answers
25k views

What is an example of a good SMART objective for a programmer? [duplicate]

Following on from this question, I wondered if folk might be able to suggest some samples of what might be considered a "good" objective in a periodic review cycle for a programmer? Let's define ...
51
votes
5answers
5k views

Why do some big projects, like Git and Debian, only use a mailing list and not an issue tracker?

Bug tracker for any decent sized project seem like a bit of a no-brainer to me - it makes it really easy to organise hundreds or thousands issues, without issues colliding or getting mixed up. So ...
18
votes
8answers
2k views

Leading an offshore team [closed]

I'm in a position where I am leading two teams of 4. Both teams are located in India. I am on the west coast of the U.S. I'm finding leading remote teams challenging: First, their command of the ...
12
votes
6answers
713 views

What is the best way to bring a new programmer up to speed on a project? [closed]

When you add a programmer to a project with a large code base, what is the best way to get them involved right away? Do you give them formal training in the code base or let them figure it out ...
276
votes
20answers
64k views

How should I behave as a developer in a project that's headed for failure?

I am a developer in a 5-member team and I believe our project is headed for disaster. I'll describe why in a moment, but my question is: how should I behave? The deadline is in 1.5 months, and I ...
50
votes
7answers
3k views

Programming with a group of people I've never met

I've been assigned a group project from my AP computer science class, and I am required to work with three other people. I've never talked to them before, I have no idea their skill level, and all I ...
13
votes
13answers
12k views

How to protect source code from remote developers? [duplicate]

My company is going to hire an external developer to create some new modules and fix some bugs in our PHP software. We have never hired an external developer by the hour before. How can we protect ...
14
votes
18answers
3k views

How to read thousands lines of code without any documentation?

Previously I was searching for a good TimeLine control for a WPF project. I found an answer in Here which direct me to this CodePlex project. Now I want to change code to feed my culture needs. But ...
31
votes
13answers
5k views

Why and for what reasons developers may not like “daily scrum”? [closed]

There are advantages in holding daily scrum, like: Team get coordinated with each other Everyone knows what amount of task has been done Burndown chart gets more and more complete Task board is ...
13
votes
3answers
354 views

How to educate business managers on the complexity of adding new features? [duplicate]

We maintain a web application for a client who demands that new features be added at a breakneck pace. We've done our best to keep up with their demands, and as a result the code base has grown ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Do you use project management on your personal projects?

I got some projects at home, and I want to get them done already. I was wondering, is it common to use project management for this? Even though it would only be for me, do you use some kind of ...
14
votes
4answers
726 views

How to Quantify the Value of Unit Testing [duplicate]

Our organization is considering integrating unit testing into our software development workflow. I've heard lots of anecdotal stories about how it encourages better, easy to maintain, and well-planned ...
4
votes
5answers
485 views

How would you introduce an agile methodology like scrum? [closed]

If you've found agile and walk into a workplace that doesn't particularly follow any methodology and they are resistant to change (as most people usually are), how would you introduce an agile ...
66
votes
14answers
8k views

How should I remember what I was doing and why on a project three months back?

I was working on a project three months back, and then suddenly another urgent project appeared and I was asked to shift my attention. Starting tomorrow, I'll be heading back to the old project. I ...
36
votes
5answers
6k views

How do I succeed as a lead developer?

I have become the lead developer in a particular project, but I'm having difficulty focusing on the big picture and making sure all pieces of the project are covered. What should I keep in mind when ...
105
votes
18answers
25k views

Dealing with engineers that frequently leave their jobs

My friend is a project manager for a software company. The most frustrating thing for him is that his engineers frequently leave their jobs. The company works hard to recruit new engineers, transfer ...
60
votes
11answers
2k views

Best Practices for Handing over Legacy Code

In a couple of months a colleague will be moving on to a new project and I will be inheriting one of his projects. To prepare, I have already ordered Michael Feathers' Working Effectively with Legacy ...
30
votes
20answers
5k views

Is it normal for programmer to work on multiple projects simultaneously

On a current job I have 2 projects to work on. First is very huge system and the second one is smaller but it also big (first project is being developed for 12 years, second for 4 years). At first I ...
20
votes
25answers
13k views

How many lines of code can a C# developer produce per month? [closed]

An executive at my workplace asked me and my group of developers the question: How many lines of code can a C# developer produce per month? An old system was to be ported to C# and he would ...
63
votes
2answers
2k views

How do software projects go over budget and under-deliver? [closed]

I've come across this story quite a few times here in the UK: NHS Computer System Summary: We're spunking £12 Billion on some health software with barely anything working. I was sitting the office ...
20
votes
8answers
1k views

Organizing uncommented, dirty code?

I would like to ask you some questions about dirty code. There are some beginners who coded on a medium project. The code is a very huge ball of mud. They are not advanced programmers. They just know ...
17
votes
9answers
2k views

Are project managers useful in Scrum?

There are three roles defined in Scrum: Team, Product Owner and Scrum Master. There is no project manager, instead the project manager job is spread across the three roles. For instance: The Scrum ...
15
votes
2answers
844 views

How to move from Programmer to Project Lead

At my job, I'm currently a programmer, but in the next few weeks I'll be taking control my own project. I was wondering if anyone else here has been in the same situation, and if so, what advice you ...
35
votes
8answers
14k views

Should Git be used for documentation and project management? Should the code be in a separate repository?

I'm starting up a Git repository for a group project. Does it make sense to store documents in the same Git repository as code - it seems like this conflicts with the nature of the git revision flow. ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any studies on the Efficiency/Effectiveness of Agile vs Waterfall

In a meeting the other day a claim was made that agile was only 60% as efficient in development time when compared to waterfall. I am not looking to validate or refute this claim. I am interesting ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

What is needed for a self-taught developer to be able to move into senior-level and leadership positions?

I'm a self-taught developer that currently has more than enough experience to hold up against my colleagues waving their degrees. Still, I feel that I'm lacking some important skills to advance into ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

How to make a great functional specification

I am going to start a little side project very soon, but this time i want to do not just the little UML domain model and case diagrams i often do before programming, i thought about making a full ...
49
votes
5answers
2k views

Bug reopen vs. new

A bug was opened, fixed, verified and closed. A month later, it showed up again in a subsequent version after several iterations without any regression. Provided the bug characteristics are the same, ...
22
votes
10answers
2k views

How to add a new developer to the team

I run a small company composed of only 2 developers. We are building a very big application for one of our clients. Development on this project has gone on for 1.5 years. Now this client has secured ...
15
votes
12answers
4k views

Why does adding more resource to a late project make it later?

It's a fairly common adage that adding more programmers to a late project will make matters worse. Why is this?
5
votes
5answers
359 views

To Open Source or Not to Open Source, that is the question [duplicate]

So, I have a couple of projects that I have been working on and I am trying to decide if I want to open source them or provide them for free as closed source. I have never "owned" an open source ...
30
votes
14answers
790 views

Boss doesn't believe my time estimate… advice/backup? [duplicate]

I'm working at a startup software company -- 3 developers, less than 15 employees including the CEO. We deal exclusively with Windows Mobile, the .NET CF, and passing the information gathered from our ...
13
votes
14answers
673 views

Should we encourage coding styles in favor of developer's autonomy, or discourage it in favor of consistency?

A developer writes if/else blocks with one-line code statements like: if (condition) // Do this one-line code else // Do this one-line code Another uses curly braces for all of them: if ...