Developers want to be dumb

Today I got another confirmation that developers aren’t dumb, they want to be dumb.

We have defined a development process with several promotion levels. The system is divided into subsystems and baselines of the subsystem need to be promoted to published before other subsystems are allowed to use it. Today, one of the integrators came to me asking whether it was possible to prevent developers from using baselines at a lower level.

“Why”, I asked. The reason is that if developers use baselines at a lower level, they may submit extra problem reports about the subsystem they use. “But they know they use a baseline that has not been published for use yet!”, I replied. But developers simply do not care! They will take any baseline from the other subsystem, regardless of it being released for use or not. And if they run into problems doing that, they will blame SCM for it:

Motto: “If it is possible, it is allowed”

Developers aren’t dumb, they just act dumb and do not care about empowerment, responsibilities or plain professionalism. How can we ever protect them against themselves?


About Frank Schophuizen (fschop)

Hi, my name is Frank Schophuizen and I am working as a consultant in CM, Agile and ALM for TOPIC Embedded Systems. I have over 30 years experience in software development in the technology industry, with the last 15 years mainly in process improvement, deployment and integration of methods and tools in the area of Agile (SAFe, Scrum), CM and ALM. I am strongly interested in the complexities of collaboration and integration in multi-project and multi-site organizations. I have worked with various technology companies such as Philips, ASML, NXP and Vanderlande, and with various tool vendors such as Atlassian (e.g. Jira, Confluence),IBM Rational (e.g. ClearCase, Synergy, Jazz products) as well as open source tools (e.g. SVN, Git, Jenkins, Trac, Eclipse). I am living in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, with my wife. We have 3 adult children. My main hobbies are classical music and photography.
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