An old programmer…

… can learn new tricks?
As part of my current contract, my employers are embracing new procedures and techniques for application development. While the normal buzzwords of “EXTREME PROGRAMMING” and “Agile Development” are being bandied about, they’re not being whole-hog embraced, with the managers marching zombie-like into an undeliverable product schedule. We’re trying new techniques such as scrum product development, and utlitizing sprints to structure short-term deliverables and milestones.
Since I got the core of my production programming experience with this same company almost 18 years ago, when there were only 3 employees, me being number 3, I find it fascinating to see the same programmers trying new tacks to take on the complexity of developing modern code.
In the Good Old days, our entire code base was perhaps 80,000 lines. One developer easily understood every aspect of the application, and could comfortably keep up with customer and internal needs. The current codebase is over a million lines and growing, and no one programmer understands it all. This is not a disaster story, it is one companies’ normal evolution as they grow and expand. In this case, they have lucked out to have a person in charge who is not only a brilliant programmer, but also an open-minded manager and a good communicator. He recognized the pitfalls of 20 years of development on his product line, and is making careful, planned, and deliberate changes to the company’s development methodology.
Of course, the panic element for this is… the changes being applied involve shifting their platform onto a framework I designed for them over the last 18 months. No pressure, really. It’s only the future of this company and it’s 20-some odd employees, not to mention the respect and 20 years good will of the owner. The same owner who gave a young programmer his first production development position.


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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2 thoughts on “An old programmer…

  1. I’ve been wanting to learn and try pair programming for quite a while. It might even be enough to get me back into being a developer. I have both strengths and weaknesses that a partner might work very well with.
    Any ideas on how I can get into it?
    Also, congratulations. It sounds like things are going extremely well for you.

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