Day: November 20, 2007

Code Metrics as a Checkin Policy

‘Code Metrics as a Checkin Policy’ – This is a fantastic idea, but too often brushed aside by both senior and junior developers alike as ‘Getting in the way’.

It would be great to measure a project’s success not just by delivery but by it code quality as well. Currently you get an award for shipping on time because that is something the business can see. However you will never get an award for ‘Code Quality’ because the business stakeholders will simply ask ‘Just what does that mean anyway?’.

The answer is simple.. maintainability. You can get a first release out the door, but each subsequent release will be harder and harder because the code quality is getting poorer and poorer. A new developer on the team has real trouble working on the bad code base and as a result their productivity will never match that of the first release. If anything, they will have to ‘hack’ the code to make it work resulting in an even worse code base!

People accept this as the reality of working on legacy projects… and I can’t accept that. We have the tools and processes to make code quality happen: all you need is team of developers who care for quality and have your stakeholders who can buy into the idea.

If you care about Code Quality, check out this entry in the FXCop team blog:

http://blogs.msdn.com/fxcop/archive/2007/11/15/code-metrics-as-check-in-policy.aspx

And Grant Holliday goes into how this works with Visual Studio 2008 here:

http://ozgrant.com/2007/11/15/want-to-enforce-maintainable-code/

Laptop Resolution for Presentations

Great article today from Joel Spolsky. He has just completed some major cities on his tour to promote FogBugz, and had some nice presentation tips.

In there was one really important tip that seems to be a great problem in the technical community and close to my heart:

“Set the screen to 800 x 600. Make everything as big as possible. If you’re demoing an application that needs more than a half million pixels, go back home and redesign the app”

Today you can pick up a cheap laptop with an insane amount of resolution. At a recent Code Camp there were some great presenters showing off SQL Server 2005/2008 at a really high resolution… this was such a pity because I could not read ANYTHING.

Presenters maybe don’t bother watching presentations because they already know everything.. but if they did then they might realise that a lower resolution will actually get their message across much better.

I run my presentations at 1024 x 768 and with a good projector unit in a large meeting room this is fine.