Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Enterprise Java Community: Programming is Also Teaching Your Team


Programming has two goals.


One goal is to do something, of course: calculate an amortization table, present a list of updated feeds, snipe someone on Ebay, or perhaps smash a human player's army. This goal is focused at a computing environment.


The other goal is - or should be - to transfer knowledge between programmers. This has a lot of benefits: it increases the number of people who understand a given piece of code, it frees a developer to do new things (since he's no longer the only person who can maintain a given program or process), and it often provides better performance - since showing Deanna your code gives her a chance to point out where your code can improve. Of course, this can be a two-edged sword, because Deanna may have biases that affect the code she writes (and therefore, what you might learn.)




Nice reminder of one of the big goals of programming in my mind. Developers often get so busy that we furiously code with an eye only to the short-term end goal, while neglecting the longer-term goals of the development team as a whole. Deadlines may get met this way, but it's damaging over the long haul.

2 comments:

Aaron Longnion said...

Excellent reminder. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Another way to look at this is from the craft viewpoint. Software craftspeople (I prefer that phase to "Programmers") love their craft and want to share it with others. The team and the craft as a whole improves when people share and learn from each other.