In every area of life there are people with some bad habits or misbehaviors that affect the work process. Software development is also not free of this kind of people. Today I will introduce you code wanderer.
Who is code wanderer?
Code wandering is more like bad habit than serious diagnose. Code wanderers tend to review and “fix” source code in files written by others. When code wanderer has some free moments he starts to open the code files he or she has never seen before and starts making little fixes to these files.
Why is code wanderer dangerous?
These fixes seem correct and are usually first choice to do when considering nice code. But as changes are made by coder who has no idea about the code he or she “fixes” then “fixing” usually ends up with messing up working code written by others. Often these “fixes” are not found immediately because they doesn’t introduce errors detected by compilers. So these “fixes” find easily way to production environments because there is also very good chance that “fixed” code goes through all tests without any problems.
How to stop code wanderer?
The first thing is to talk with person and explain him or her why those changes are dangerous. It is also good to establish rules that state clearly why, when and how can somebody change the code written by other people. If this does not work it is possible to isolate this person so he or she can post his or her changes to code repository as patches and somebody reviews those changes before applying them.