Anti-Patterns of a Private Workspace

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Anti-Pattern Name: Isolationist

Problem

·         How often should I populate my private workspace with the latest changes?

Context

·         Project development methodology (waterfall, incremental, iterative) is not identified or understood.

·         No direction or guidance provided on the rate of change to a workspace.

·         Do not really understand the meaning and full implications of continuous integration.

Forces

·         Some programmers like to work in isolation. No one bothers them and they do not bother others.

·         Programmers get more work done with they do not have to deal with changes occurring underneath.

·         Because private workspaces come with a separate branch or stream and versioning, a programmer can ensure their code is backed up. However, this can give the perception that they can keep their changes private longer.

·         Changes to the latest baseline often force them to do a lot of rework.

(Poor) solution

·         Infrequently update the private workspace with latest code baseline.

Consequences

·         When it is time to deliver changes, a potentially large merging and reconciliation (changes, building, unit testing) task may be needed which could take a while, possibly affecting the release schedule. In addition, other programmers have not seen the changes and this can impact past project changes causing regression and breakage in the code.

Better solution

·         Ask for a clear understanding of the project development methodology (waterfall, incremental, iterative) and a general expectation of the frequency of updating the private workspace with the latest baseline.

·         Update the private workspace after reaching a milestone of change (fixed the defect, completed one change request, etc.) that aligns with the change frequency expected and the development methodology used.  

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