Feb. 26th, 2017

dennisgorelik: (Default)
I asked a developer on my team to commit code frequently: at least once per day or more.
Even if feature is not ready - commit parts of this feature, prototypes, or even mixture of draft code and draft notes.

The developer objected that:
1) Not every feature fits into one day of development. (I agree with that).
2) Commiting raw code, and especially committing raw notes - effectively publishes them.
And publishing raw ideas - makes them to prematurely solidify, which, in turn, negatively affects future research, because there is a bias toward solid ideas, while alternative solutions are more likely to lose even if they are good.
(I kind of agree with that effect, but only partially. Publishing ideas solidify them a little, but that effect is more positive than negative).
3) Commiting/publishing raw notes violates developer's privacy, because raw notes represent unfiltered train of thoughts.
(My thinking is that since these notes were created as an attempt to find a solution to a work problem - there raw notes are very unlikely to contain any personal secrets. Raw notes can still contain weird thoughts or even silly mistakes, but that is OK - there is no need to be ashamed of mistakes in early research thoughts).

My main reasons to have code committed frequently is:
1) Check that work goes in the general direction that is likely to satisfy business goals.
2) Review new research and code in reasonably small chunks, so that code reviewer is able to understand them.
3) See not only final polished solution, but also mistakes and research dead ends along the way. That helps learning more.

What do you think: is trying to commit code at least once per day - too frequent or a good goal?

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Dennis Gorelik

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