Questions about working together with co-workers or a team. (Teamwork questions are at risk of being "put on hold as off-topic" for being about career advice or education.)

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622
votes
29answers
117k views

My boss decided to add a “person to blame” field to every bug report. How can I convince him that it's a bad idea?

In one of the latest "WTF" moves, my boss decided that adding a "Person To Blame" field to our bug tracking template will increase accountability (although we already have a way of tying bugs to ...
18
votes
6answers
3k views

How do you go about training a replacement? [closed]

I recently asked about leaving a position and got a lot of great answers. One of the common threads was that being around to train the new person would be expected and could go a long way. Now ...
150
votes
13answers
9k views

If my team has low skill, should I lower the skill of my code? [closed]

For example, there is a common snippet in JS to get a default value: function f(x) { x = x || 'default_value'; } This kind of snippet is not easily understood by all the members of my team, ...
22
votes
9answers
987 views

Advice for solo programmer whose team will expand in the near future [closed]

For 4 years now, I've been the solo developer for a small company. We have a handful of well establish products in a niche industry. We will be hiring 1-2 developers soon, and that will likely change ...
43
votes
7answers
5k views

What should junior developer expect from their senior team lead [closed]

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer. I work for a small company, in which few people are developers, others are QA/Test and 1 is ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

How to explain the value of unit testing

I want to introduce the concept of unit tests (and testing in general) to my co-workers; right now there are no tests at all and things are tested by actually performing the tasks via the UI to see ...
32
votes
12answers
2k views

How many developers before continuous integration becomes effective for us?

There is an overhead associated with continuous integration, e.g., set up, re-training, awareness activities, stoppage to fix "bugs" that turn out to be data issues, enforced separation of concerns ...
28
votes
5answers
3k views

How do you disarm a cowboy coder? [closed]

I found a question (code cowboy on the team), but it was more related to "Ninja Coder" then the problem that I have. I have a team member who is a pure living example of "Cowboy Coder". I do ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

“Too object-oriented”

I come from a strong OO background, and I have recently started working in an organization which, although the code is written in Java, has a lot less emphasis on good OO design than what I am used to....
7
votes
4answers
835 views

Bounty points for fixing bugs? [closed]

Ever heard of a company awarding bounty points for bugfixes? Making team members work to do the most, as some bonus money will be dependent on it? Having them split, or pay bounties to others to ...
101
votes
45answers
52k views

How do programmers in the West see programmers in the East?

The other half of this question: How do Programmers in the East see programmers in the West? The eastern part of the world (India/China/Philippines ) mainly provide outsourcing services to the ...
171
votes
23answers
16k views

How can I deal with a team member who dislikes making comments in code?

One of my team members consistently avoids making comments in his code. His code is not self-documenting, and other programmers have a difficult time understanding his code. I have asked him ...
44
votes
14answers
3k views

What's with the aversion to documentation in the industry?

There seems to be an aversion to writing even the most basic documentation. Our project READMEs are relatively bare. There aren't even updated lists of dependencies in the docs. Is there something I'...
24
votes
5answers
3k 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?
25
votes
12answers
2k views

Emotional attachment to code [closed]

As an employee of a company, when you write code do you feel like you have an attachment to it? Do you feel that you have some ownership of the code? Or do you write it completely detached from it ...
45
votes
16answers
3k views

Should a programmer fix someone else's failed build? [closed]

One programmer committed some work to the SVN repository, then went home. After he left, the Hudson automatic build failed. Another programmer saw this, and after looking through the code changes, ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Dilemma of QA vs. iterations

In my company, we successfully working with agile practices - but without using iterations. The main reason is that we can't find a clean way to fit in QA in an iteration cycle. We understand QA as ...
243
votes
21answers
34k views

Leaving intentional bugs in code for testers to find

We don't do this at our firm, but one of my friends says that his project manager asked every developer to add intentional bugs just before the product goes to QA. This is how it works: Just before ...
79
votes
21answers
9k views

How would you react if someone told you your code is a mess?

I am a good programmer, or so I thought before. I always love to program. And I want to learn many things about programming to make me a better programmer. I studied programming for 1 year and now I ...
38
votes
6answers
2k views

What should I do to leave a job professionally? [duplicate]

Given that the current employer knows and has been given appropriate notice ahead of time, how can a programmer make a clean job transition from his old job? What things should the programer consider? ...
23
votes
12answers
3k views

How to review code that you do not understand?

I have been given the role to improve development in our company. The first thing I wanted to start was code reviews since that has never been done here before. There are 3 programmers in our company....
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Easy way of engaging non-programmers (i.e. designers) into using version control?

What are some key ways of getting your team involved in using version control during development, web development or otherwise? I refuse to work without it, which means anyone involved in the project ...
27
votes
17answers
1k views

Dealing with co-workers who do not have a consistent coding style?

What do you when you're working with someone who tends to write stylistically bad code? The code I'm talking about is usually technically correct, reasonably structured, and may even be ...
24
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
237 views

What could be some pitfalls in introducing a style guide and documentation generating software in a development team?

I'm considering using appledoc, a flavor of Doxygen for use in generating Objective-C code documentation, in order to create documentation for my company's iOS apps. The idea is that a server will ...
4
votes
1answer
317 views

Help, team members out of tasks want to start with future sprints topics

I have this problem, a team with 4 members working under scrum, with specific skills each one of them: Person A) DBA with reporting skills Person B) DBA with stored procedure skills and a very ...
3
votes
1answer
732 views

Too complex/too many objects?

I know that this will be a difficult question to answer without context, but hopefully there are at least some good guidelines to share on this. The questions are at the bottom if you want to skip the ...
2
votes
5answers
386 views

Generate a productive environment when developers have different opinions

My question is simple. I'm a developer and work with another developer who's been here for many more years than I have. He has his opinion about implementing stuff; he's more of a do it yourself kind ...
90
votes
19answers
16k views

How do Programmers in the East see programmers in the West?

The other half of this question: How do programmers in the west see the programmers in the east? I think it's just as interesting and important to see how programmers in the east view programmers in ...
86
votes
13answers
8k views

Way in over my head! (Dealing with better programmers) [closed]

I've just been hired as a member of a group that is developing in C++. For the last 11 years, I'd been coding on and off at my last job (some C, some Fortran, some C++). The coding I'd done was ...
65
votes
7answers
3k views

After years of working alone, other developers will finally see my (buggy) code. What should I do? [duplicate]

I have been working on a system alone for about four years. I have built it from the ground up. It is not a perfect system. It is very complex, it is buggy, and the business is now becoming aware of ...
59
votes
8answers
13k views

Avoiding “Smart Guy” Syndrome on Team Projects

A lot of bad practices were being committed at the beginning of a project, and I recognized them and fought against all of them. Since I didn't pick and choose my battles, my boss now assumes anything ...
28
votes
13answers
2k views

Handling my antiquated coworker

I'm a fairly young programmer, and I work at a medium sized company's IT department. I have a coworker, and he is a really good Visual Basic 6 programmer. And I mean really good. Honestly. He can ...
52
votes
10answers
5k views

Should Junior Programmers be involved as code reviewers in the projects of Senior Programmers?

One of my team members, a junior programmer, has impressive programming skills for his level of experience. And during code reviews, I believe in emphasizing learning, not pointing out mistakes. ...
40
votes
20answers
6k views

Why are a seemingly disproportionate amount of programmers just, well, not nice? [closed]

Maybe it's just my personal experience, but I associate with varying different groups and types of people and it seems to me that an oddly large percentage of programmers I have encountered are "not ...
21
votes
4answers
665 views

How to create a “cult of quality” [closed]

DeMarco and Lister (Peopleware) suggest you create a "cult of quality" within your programming team. Frustratingly, they don't suggest how you go about doing that! Anyone got any thoughts on how to ...
61
votes
6answers
6k views

How does a non-technical manager add value to team of self-motivated software developers?

I am seeing a lot of programmers turning away from management and administration roles. They want to build stuff. And as a result, a lot of these positions are filled by non-technical people. I fail ...
30
votes
11answers
3k views

What factors should influence how I determine when to abandon a small project with a friend? [closed]

I've found myself in a tough spot as of late. Been working on a game with a programming buddy for nearly 8 months now. We both started off as newcomers to programming around August of last year, he is ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Helpful articles on the subject of managing programmers? [closed]

What are the most helpful articles on the subject of managing programmers? I came across this one recently, and thought it was excellent - The unspoken truth about managing geeks What else is out ...
57
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I tell a senior programmer that I disagree with him [closed]

I am a new programmer at my office. I just entered this workplace for about 2 months. I've been working with another senior programmer which is essentially my "mentor" during the introductory period....
8
votes
5answers
544 views

What are your strategies to improve the level of your team in a clever way?

I'm looking for innovatives ways to improve the whole team & raise the global level in every aspects, not just technicals ones. My actual solutions : programming challenge vith votes, notes ...
31
votes
6answers
2k views

Are Frequent Complicated Merge Conflicts A Sign of Problems?

On our team, we use Git as our source control. We have several areas of code that are almost independent but have some overlap. Lately we have been discussing workflows and approaches to using source ...
17
votes
9answers
2k views

How to deal with the “programming blowhard”? [closed]

So I'm sure everyone has run into this person at one point or another, someone catches wind of your project or idea and initially shows some interest. You get to talking about some of your methods and ...
15
votes
11answers
2k views

Helping junior programmers get past their shortcomings? [closed]

What are your common gripes about junior developers that join your team or whom you have to work with? Obviously they are inexperienced so you can't expect them to know everything, but what skills are ...
7
votes
4answers
804 views

Rolling your own Hackathon [closed]

Background Info Hey, I pitched the idea of a company Hackathon that would donate our time to a charity to work on a project (for free) to improve morale in my company and increase developer cohesion. ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

Making an internship most effective, useful and fun for both parties [closed]

We're currently interviewing few candidates for an internship, which is a really new experience for us as a company and for me personally as a team lead/manager. What would be the most effective and ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

best way to “introduce” OOP/OOD to team of experienced C++ engineers

I am looking for an efficient way, that also doesn't come off as an insult, to introduce OOP concepts to existing team members? My teammates are not new to OO languages. We've been doing C++/C# for ...
16
votes
8answers
1k views

Too many seniors in one team?

Can having too many senior programmers in one team turn out to be a bad thing? Having like say, 4-5 senior programmers in a team of 6-7 people. What is the optimal number/ratio in these kind of ...
9
votes
2answers
683 views

How to deal with too much pragmatism in the project? [duplicate]

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
421 views

If most of team can't follow the architecture, what do you do?

I'm working on a greenfields project with two other developers. We're all contractors, and myself and one other just started working on the project while the orginal one has been doing most of the ...