Anti-Patterns of a Private Workspace


Anti-Pattern Name: Workspace Clutter


·         I need to prototype or test several scenarios of changes in my workspace.


·         No SCM Checkout/Check-in or Build process/procedure exists that addresses private files.

·         The private files come in handy.


·         For prototyping and testing, people can easily (and without anyone else knowing) create a private file or copy an existing of a source file within the workspace.

·         Sometimes people forget to clean up the private files.

(Poor) solution

·         Allow people to create private files and keep them in their private workspace as long as they want without any governance process of managing them.


·         When it’s time to submit the changes to the project integration stream (aka, active development line), only the checked out files are checked in and submitted, therefore missing the potentially needed private files. The needed private files cause the project integration stream build to break. The corrective action may be difficult to identify, as the changes work in the programmer’s private workspace.

Better solution

·         Establish a step in the SCM checkout/check-in or build process/procedure to remove or cleanup the private files prior to file builds and unit tests with a private workspace. Educate programmers on these processes.

·         Establish a consequence (e.g., reprimand from product manager) for the programmers who do not cleanup appropriately and cause build and regression problems.  

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

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