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.  

About the author

Mario  Moreira's picture Mario Moreira

Mario Moreira is a columnist for the CM Journal, a writer for the Agile Journal, an author, an agile and CM expert for CA. He has worked in the CM field since 1986 and in the agile field since 1998. Mario has experience with numerous CM technologies and processes and has implemented CM on over 150 applications/products, which include establishing global SCM infrastructures. He is a certified ScrumMaster in the agile arena having implemented Scrum and XP practices. Mario is the author of Adapting Configuration Management for Agile Teams  and Software Configuration Management Implementation Roadmap. Also consider visiting Mario’s blog on CM for Agile and Agile adoption at http://cmforagile.blogspot.com/.

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