Why Are You Not a Software Engineer?

Are you a rock star developer? A prodigious code creator, widely read, developer of new frameworks, familiar with many languages? Then you may not need this advice because you are already productive (unless you have an unusual level of humility and desire to improve).

For the rest of us normal folks, there are things we can do better.

The practices that lead to good software are well known:

  • Work frequently and closely with requirements providers
  • Write automated tests
  • Check in small changes and run the tests
  • Demonstrate new code and release regularly
  • Pair program

Extreme Programming has been around for a long time. BUT MOST DEVELOPERS ARE NOT FOLLOWING THESE AGILE PRACTICES! Sorry, this is bothering me.

Extreme Programming PracticesIf you are not a rock star and don’t follow these practices, you can be better. I bet your code takes longer, has more bugs, and does not meet business expectations as well as it could.

Perhaps it is a marketing failure. The name Extreme, and the initials XP, have connotations that must repel some folks. Current people in management grew up in a time before XP, so they might not like the “communist” components of open work spaces and collective code ownership. Many people became developers because they either don’t want to or suck at dealing with other people, developers or business folks. Those people are not having the positive impact that is within their potential.

Engineers have known good practices that they follow. In fact, if they don’t follow good practices, they can lose credentials and be held liable for failures.

We should hold ourselves to similar standards. We know the practices that work, and it is not a matter of opinion.

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