What would you do…

… if someone messed with “your code”!?

Toby was on vacation for a week. He came back to work on Monday, somewhat earlier than others, still jet lagged. He was all ready to dive back happily into the piece of code he was working on just before vacation (the post-it note was still standing untouched on the wall, under “In progress”).

Toby synchronized the code, looked for all the familiar class names… and got stunned! All of his nice framework blahblah handling classes were in a different package. No, in a two, wait, three different packages! WHAT!!!

Changed interfaces, I see, new functionality added, refactored the old one… but wait, this is not a nice solution. Hey, we agreed last week when we discussed this how we will do it… and it was my task, I started it!!!

Cold sweat, checking the history, frantically running all the tests… looking through all the recent mails…

Mario, that self proclaimed architect blah! He who does not distinguish a recursion from an iteration!

Pressure rising, ego boiling, teeth clenching, Toby was actually getting a bit angry now.

Toby has officially entered a Monday from hell. 

Some of the setup related facts:

Toby and Mario work in the same group, supposedly self organizing, running Scrum.

The group is still in a start up phase (someone might say that they just entered “The Storming” phase).

The members did not know each other from before.

The members are not very experienced Agile practitioners, and their enthusiasm and good will to run certain practices differ a great deal from a member to member.

In order to follow their progress during one Sprint, the group uses a whiteboard divided into 4 categories: “Defined”, “In progress”, “Finished” and “Accepted”. All the tasks from the Sprint backlog are written on post-it notes and put under the appropriate category, moving from left to right during the 4 weeks of the Sprint.

The group members usually take one task each, and drive it from the beginning to an end, without switching tasks or working in pairs. Sometimes they consult other team members when not sure how to implement a solution or how it will fit in with the other parts of the system and the things the others are working on.

And then, in the middle of one Sprint, Toby went for that vacation and now he is back and not happy.

What is the right thing to do? What would you do if you were Toby? 

Our friends offered some advice:

The Alien: First and foremost – dear Toby, do not stress! Remember – you are not the code you write!

Furthermore, I recommend you all to raise the awareness of the collective code ownership, but also, to adopt common rules of nice behaviour within the group.

LittleMissLisa: I agree. Also, I think that it would be good to start working in pairs; share your developing time together. It will help you improve your common trust and communication tremendously.



Eric Theodore Cartman: God damit! You should just kick that hippie’s a**! This is no common hippie code, it is YOUR code!







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One Response to What would you do…

  1. Mark Vice says:

    Great post!

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