One size fists all

Mein Zitat zum Jahresende kommt von Zed A. Shaw. Gefunden habe ich es auf der Website des Mongrel-Projects. Sowas wollte ich schon immer mal sagen, musste jedoch nie wie’s geht :) … Oder so :P
“ Code fisting

I worked with this guy once who walked into my office one day to tell me that he had started reorganizing the code base for the product. Problem was he started this completely useless reorganization two days before a big deployment, checked it into the CVS repository without telling anyone, didn’t get it working at all, and then had to go on vacation that same day. He was in my office to tell me to clean up his mess since his changes completely broke the build. He did all of this without telling anyone or asking first.

This is “code fisting”, where you shove large amounts of code at people where it isn’t wanted. When you do this all you’re doing is pissing off the people you work with and costing your employer money. In an open source project it can get you kicked out, ridiculed in public, and jeopardize your reputation.

I find that people who do this seem to not understand the #1 rule about working with others on a software project:

"Whenever you do something make sure it causes the least amount of suffering
for others."

Change is important and the project needs it to improve, but if you go thrusting your nasty designs on other people in surprise Ninja moves then you’re not following the rule.

So how do you reduce the suffering that comes from big changes?

Code lube
Code lube is the answer to necessary code fisting. Code lube is a combination of communication, coordination, and gently applying your changes slowly over time until they’re in sync with the rest of the world. You have to baby step the other participants and if they aren’t receptive, then put your stuff into a patch or a branch and come back to it later.

This includes changes that aren’t related to code. Deployments need to be heavily coordinated. Moving servers, changing database schemas, installing new versions of tools, and changing important documentation all require talking with people.“


Frohes Fist, … ähmm Fest

2 Responses to “One size fists all”

  1. 21. Dezember 2006 at 9:29 #

    hihi. so isses wohl ;-)

  2. Stephan
    30. August 2007 at 16:02 #

    we get code-fisted ervery day !

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