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Cowboy/girl programmers don’t live here

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Jonathan Wallace

Have you heard the myth about the lone wolf programmer? Knee deep in crushed jolt cola cans, empty latte coffee cups, and busted keyboards (due to the incredible work rate of their owner), this paragon of unheralded genius is an island of productivity and impressive tasks accomplished in insanely short time spans.

The phe-nom rides under the nom-de-plume of the cowboy/girl programmer. And the cowboy/girl programmer doesn’t work at Highgroove Studios.

You see, we code review.

Okay, so maybe we are guilty of busted keyboards, empty latte coffee cups, and impressive tasks accomplished in insanely short time spans. But no programmer is an island. We love sharing our code with one another and I compiled this nice bulleted list to convince you why its awesome.

  1. Redundancy. By reviewing each other’s code, we obviate the another-developer-hit-by-a-bus-tragedy trope. No hoarding of project domain knowledge here!
  2. Erudite programmers unite! We learn so much from one another. I only noticed this week how much I looked forward to our weekly code reviews. I love engaging with my teammates on technical issues.
  3. Higher quality code. There’s no pressure like peer pressure. Knowing that super smart peers will dissect and call out any short cuts I may take keeps me sharp!
  4. Organic code styles. Top-down code styling may work for some but I enjoy the organic, pragmatic, agile coding standards that arises from our code reviews. We programmers own the style and enjoy using it because its one born of our discussions on what works and what doesn’t.
  5. The whole is greater than the sum of parts. Each client, instead of getting one brain, gets a whole team! The pride we take in producing quality solutions is multiplied many times over when it’s a team effort.

How often do you code review? If you don’t, why not?

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Jonathan Wallace

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