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Rose-Colored Code

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  • Bill Caputo
    Perhaps this is evidence for why collective-ownership has a positive impact on code quality?
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 6, 2007
      Perhaps this is evidence for why collective-ownership has a positive
      impact on code quality?

      http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg19325935.700&feedId=online-news_rss20

      Best,
      Bill
    • Michael Feathers
      ... Could be.. but the article states that people percieve the owned things as better. Rose colored glasses may inhibit recognition of quality problems too.
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 6, 2007
        Bill Caputo wrote:

        >Perhaps this is evidence for why collective-ownership has a positive
        >impact on code quality?
        >
        >http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg19325935.700&feedId=online-news_rss20
        >
        >
        Could be.. but the article states that people percieve the owned things
        as better. Rose colored glasses may inhibit recognition of quality
        problems too.

        Michael Feathers
        http://www.objectmentor.com
        http://michaelfeathers.typepad.com
      • William E Caputo
        ... No, that was my point: individual ownership increases the risk from this sort of thing. If its my module, its my baby -- I won t see the warts. With
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 6, 2007
          --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Michael Feathers
          <mfeathers@...> wrote:

          > Could be.. but the article states that people percieve the owned things
          > as better. Rose colored glasses may inhibit recognition of quality
          > problems too.

          No, that was my point: individual ownership increases the risk from
          this sort of thing. If its my module, its my baby -- I won't see the
          warts. With collective ownership, we can counter each-other's
          emotional subjectivity better than if we each own one little bit of
          the whole.

          IOW: What I took from the article was not the conclusion that
          ownership == attachment == overlook-issues == good
          (which may be true for pet adoption) but rather:
          ownership == attachment == overlook-issues == bad
          (for individual code ownership).

          Make sense?

          Best,
          Bill
        • Michael Feathers
          Yeah, I understand now. Makes sense.
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 6, 2007
            Yeah, I understand now. Makes sense.

            William E Caputo wrote:

            >--- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Michael Feathers
            ><mfeathers@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            >>Could be.. but the article states that people percieve the owned things
            >>as better. Rose colored glasses may inhibit recognition of quality
            >>problems too.
            >>
            >>
            >
            >No, that was my point: individual ownership increases the risk from
            >this sort of thing. If its my module, its my baby -- I won't see the
            >warts. With collective ownership, we can counter each-other's
            >emotional subjectivity better than if we each own one little bit of
            >the whole.
            >
            >IOW: What I took from the article was not the conclusion that
            >ownership == attachment == overlook-issues == good
            >(which may be true for pet adoption) but rather:
            >ownership == attachment == overlook-issues == bad
            >(for individual code ownership).
            >
            >Make sense?
            >
            >Best,
            >Bill
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Steve Ropa
            That reminds me of a guy I used to work with. Anytime a major bug would be found in a module that he had written, his first response would be that is
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 6, 2007
              That reminds me of a guy I used to work with. Anytime a major bug would be
              found in a module that he had written, his first response would be "that is
              physically impossible". No matter how many times we would reproduce it that
              would be his response. Once, we found an especially hairy buffer overrun,
              and his immediate response was "somebody must have changed my code."



              _____

              From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William E Caputo
              Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 10:31 AM
              To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [XP] Rose-Colored Code



              --- In extremeprogramming@ <mailto:extremeprogramming%40yahoogroups.com>
              yahoogroups.com, Michael Feathers
              <mfeathers@...> wrote:

              > Could be.. but the article states that people percieve the owned things
              > as better. Rose colored glasses may inhibit recognition of quality
              > problems too.

              No, that was my point: individual ownership increases the risk from
              this sort of thing. If its my module, its my baby -- I won't see the
              warts. With collective ownership, we can counter each-other's
              emotional subjectivity better than if we each own one little bit of
              the whole.

              IOW: What I took from the article was not the conclusion that
              ownership == attachment == overlook-issues == good
              (which may be true for pet adoption) but rather:
              ownership == attachment == overlook-issues == bad
              (for individual code ownership).

              Make sense?

              Best,
              Bill





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • William Pietri
              ... I think that s very true. Of course, I m not sure that we have a good solution for dealing with that at a higher level. Promiscuous pairing helps me past
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 6, 2007
                William E Caputo wrote:
                > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Michael Feathers
                > <mfeathers@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >> Could be.. but the article states that people percieve the owned things
                >> as better. Rose colored glasses may inhibit recognition of quality
                >> problems too.
                >>
                >
                > No, that was my point: individual ownership increases the risk from
                > this sort of thing. If its my module, its my baby -- I won't see the
                > warts. With collective ownership, we can counter each-other's
                > emotional subjectivity better than if we each own one little bit of
                > the whole.
                >

                I think that's very true. Of course, I'm not sure that we have a good
                solution for dealing with that at a higher level. Promiscuous pairing
                helps me past problems of irrationally liking my module better than my
                colleague's. But once a group has reached convergence, I think we're
                still prone to the kind of effects that the study demonstrate.

                In some ways, I think it's less of a problem, as hopping around to
                different parts of the code base means we can often come to things with
                fresh perspectives. But in another aspect, I think it's more: if it's my
                whole team that has converged on a solution we like, I will have a lot
                more confidence in it and fondness for it than when I'm working alone.
                In some ways it feels a little tribal to me. Which is good, but not an
                unmixed good.

                William


                --
                William Pietri - william@... - +1-415-643-1024
                Agile consulting, coaching, and development: http://www.scissor.com/
                Can you see the future? Prove it at http://www.longbets.org/
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