Wide Awake Developers

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The Lights Are On, Is Anybody Home?

We pay a lot of attention to stakeholders when we create systems. The end users get a say, as do the Gold Owners. Analysts put their imprimatur on the requirements. In better cases, operations and administration adds their own spin. It seems like the only group that doesn't have any input during requirements gathering is the development team itself. That is truly unfortunate.

Not even the users will have to live with the system more than the developers will. Developers literally inhabit the system for most of their waking hours, just as much (or maybe more) than they inhabit their cubes or offices. When the code is messy, nobody suffers more than the developers. When living in the system becomes unpleasant, morale will suffer. Any time you hear a developer ask for a few weeks of "cleanup" after a release, what they are really saying is, "This room is a terrible mess. We need to remodel."

A code review is just like an episode of "Trading Spaces". Developers get to trade problems for a while, to see if somebody else can see possibilities in their dwelling. Rip out that clunky old design that doesn't work any more! Hang some fabric on the walls and change the lighting.

Whether your virtual working environment becomes a cozy place, a model of efficiency, or a cold, drab prison, you create your own living space. It is worth taking some care to create a place you enjoy inhabiting. You will spend a lot of time there before the job is done.