The Correct Thing To Do… And Costs of Change

I really like working with smart people. Especially, when I hired them. And that means I like being right. Moving on…

Smart people identify bad things and propose changes. They sometimes stubborn to a fault doing that. But that’s OK. The stubborn ones are willing to fight the system, or at least try to prove the system wrong, since they like being right too.

The story is not about an argument between to “right” people, but rather we agreed that about the right thing to do. The subject is how to 2-3 developers write code and integrate. The right way is to do so together, and resolve conflicting issues as soon as they come up. In ClearCase this means all are working on the same stream with dynamic views, and when code is checked in, everyone gets the updated bits immediately. Working with a single solution means that the next compilation will make you aware of the conflict.

The cost I refer to is what I’ll have to answer to the question: “Why isn’t everyone working like that? This is not the way we develop”. And to remind you, I am actually in charge of the “way we develop”, and I can testify, that’s not written in the methodology.

If I had my way, everyone would be working like this. But in order to do that successfully in the larger teams a few things need to happen

  • In larger teams, there is no single solution. So the feedback cycle should be closed by an automated build and continuous integration. This is missing in the larger projects (that need it more than the smaller…)
  • Working in the ClearCase methodology, everyone has he’s own environment to not interfere with others. (Yes, it is the complete opposite of common sense). Now, when people are working separately, they actually check in their code just right before the integration (which could take days to weeks). So this has to change to.
  • Finally there is the “less-than-affectionate” relation to ClearCase, because of the painful implementation over the last years. Although the developers are working with it, some are still allergic, and need some “motivation injection” to work even more with the tool.

So like all evolutions, we’ll start with a single team, step by step, take the hits, try to convince, and some other cliches I can’t think about right now. But I’m working with smart people, so there’s a chance for success.

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