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Questions tagged [project-management]

Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals.

470
votes
19answers
173k views

I've inherited 200K lines of spaghetti code — what now?

I hope this isn't too general of a question; I could really use some seasoned advice. I am newly employed as the sole "SW Engineer" in a fairly small shop of scientists who have spent the last 10-20 ...
42
votes
12answers
11k views

Dealing with bad/incomplete/unclear specifications? [duplicate]

I'm working on a project where our dev team gets the specifications from the business part of the company. Both the business management and the IT management require estimates and deadline projections,...
627
votes
17answers
209k views

How to respond when you are asked for an estimate?

We, as programmers, are constantly being asked 'How long will it take'? And you know, the situation is almost always like this: The requirements are unclear. Nobody has done an in depth analysis of ...
22
votes
7answers
3k views

Rule of thumb for cost vs. savings for code re-use [duplicate]

Is it a good rule of thumb to always write code for the intent of re-using it somewhere down the road? Or, depending on the size of the component you are writing, is it better practice to design it ...
498
votes
31answers
114k views

Why can't the IT industry deliver large, faultless projects quickly as in other industries?

After watching National Geographic's MegaStructures series, I was surprised how fast large projects are completed. Once the preliminary work (design, specifications, etc.) is done on paper, the ...
68
votes
11answers
21k views

Metric by which to hold developers accountable [duplicate]

I asked a question on lines of code per hour and got torn a new one. So my matured follow-up question is this: If not lines of code, then what is a good metric by which to measure (by the hour/day/...
103
votes
13answers
63k views

What “version naming convention” do you use? [closed]

Are different version naming conventions suited to different projects? What do you use and why? Personally, I prefer a build number in hexadecimal (e.g 11BCF), this should be incremented very ...
37
votes
7answers
8k views

How to explain that it's hard to estimate the time required for a bigger software project?

I'm a junior developer and I find it hard to estimate how much time it takes to finish a bigger software project. I know how to structure the architecture in general, but it's hard for me to know what ...
25
votes
6answers
3k views

What actions to take when people leave the team? [duplicate]

Recently one of our key engineers resigned. This engineer has co-authored a major component of our application. We are not hitting Truck number yet though, but we're getting close :) Before the guy ...
66
votes
12answers
8k views

Getting non-programmers to understand the development process

When starting a project for a company that's not primarily a programming company, one of the expectations is that there's a finished product at the end free of all bugs and does everything needed ...
17
votes
5answers
14k views

What to plan before starting development on a project? [closed]

Say I've received the specifications for a project from a client, and now its time to start developing it. Normally, I just start with the first module (usually user registration) and then go from one ...
102
votes
12answers
12k views

Best practices for sharing tiny snippets of code across projects

I always try to follow the DRY principle strictly at work; every time I've repeated code out of laziness it bites back later when I need to maintain that code in two places. But often I write small ...
86
votes
12answers
7k views

How big does my project need to be for me to unit test it? [closed]

I assume that my project is decoupled enough to allow for unit testing. But how big, exactly, in terms of clases and functions does my project need to be to make unit testing worthwhile? We all make ...
41
votes
12answers
10k views

How possible is it to estimate time for programming projects? [duplicate]

It seems like it is nearly impossible to get close because you could run into any number of issues and things not first anticipated. How close can we be expected to reasonably estimate? Our PM wants ...
42
votes
14answers
10k views

How to learn to make better estimates? [closed]

I suck at estimates. When someone asks me how long something will take, I don't even dare to make a guess since I will be completely off the mark. Usually I'm way too optimistic, and should probably ...
179
votes
17answers
13k views

How do you balance between “do it right” and “do it ASAP” in your daily work? [closed]

I find myself pondering over this question from time to time, again and again. I want to do things the right way: to write clean, understandable and correct code that is easy to maintain. However, ...
58
votes
11answers
32k views

How often should I/do you make commits? [duplicate]

I am a recent (as of yesterday) college grad - BS in Computer Science. I've been a huge fan of version control ever since I got mad at an assignment I was working on and just started from scratch, ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

Advice/guidelines for managing a distributed development team [duplicate]

What are some strategies, methodologies and best-practices for managing a distributed team? What can be done to encourage and enforce communication between the various team members? Is it possible ...
30
votes
3answers
15k views

When to separate a project in multiple subprojects

I'd like to know if it makes sense to divide the project I'm working on in two repositories instead of one. From what I can say: Frontend will be written in html+js Backend in .net The backend ...
44
votes
5answers
4k views

How do you convince management to “invest” in unit tests?

How did you convince your manager to let you unit test? By "use", I mean being allowed to develop, check-in to source control and maintain the unit tests over time, etc. Typical management ...
63
votes
5answers
6k views

Why do some big projects, like Git and Debian, only use a mailing list and not an issue tracker?

Bug tracker for any decent sized project seem like a bit of a no-brainer to me - it makes it really easy to organise hundreds or thousands issues, without issues colliding or getting mixed up. So ...
17
votes
9answers
3k views

Are project managers useful in Scrum?

There are three roles defined in Scrum: Team, Product Owner and Scrum Master. There is no project manager, instead the project manager job is spread across the three roles. For instance: The Scrum ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

How to Quantify the Value of Unit Testing [duplicate]

Our organization is considering integrating unit testing into our software development workflow. I've heard lots of anecdotal stories about how it encourages better, easy to maintain, and well-planned ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Should technical debt be scheduled as a feature or a chore (or a bug)?

I've added a couple of user stories that address some technical debt to my Pivotal Tracker board. Should I consider them as features (keeping my velocity level) or as chores/bugs (lowering my velocity)...
5
votes
5answers
583 views

How would you introduce an agile methodology like scrum? [closed]

If you've found agile and walk into a workplace that doesn't particularly follow any methodology and they are resistant to change (as most people usually are), how would you introduce an agile ...
209
votes
12answers
59k views

Strategy for keeping secret info such as API keys out of source control?

I'm working on a website that will allow users to log in using OAuth credentials from the likes of Twitter, Google, etc. To do this, I have to register with these various providers and get a super-...
154
votes
20answers
15k views

How to keep a big and complex software product maintainable over the years?

I have been working as a software developer for many years now. It has been my experience that projects get more complex and unmaintainable as more developers get involved in the development of the ...
46
votes
9answers
5k views

Generally speaking, is it better to make all the functional parts or get UI working first - or a mix of the two?

Generally speaking, is it better to make all the functional parts or get UI working first - or a mix of the two? Assuming you're working on something large, is it generally accepted practice to get ...
50
votes
7answers
5k views

Programming with a group of people I've never met

I've been assigned a group project from my AP computer science class, and I am required to work with three other people. I've never talked to them before, I have no idea their skill level, and all I ...
116
votes
18answers
12k views

When should I make the first commit to source control?

I'm never sure when a project is far enough along to first commit to source control. I tend to put off committing until the project is 'framework-complete,' and I primarily commit features from then ...
62
votes
9answers
45k views

Should Git be used for documentation and project management? Should the code be in a separate repository?

I'm starting up a Git repository for a group project. Does it make sense to store documents in the same Git repository as code - it seems like this conflicts with the nature of the git revision flow. ...
53
votes
8answers
8k views

Is it good that testers are competing to see who opens more bugs?

I'm a software developer. There is a team of testers who follow and run test cases written by the analyst, but also perform exploratory testing. It seems like the testers have been competing to see ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Scrum team size - how small is too small?

How small can a scrum team before it's no longer effective? Are there diminishing returns or hard limits on team size before you should abandon scrum?
326
votes
20answers
71k views

How should I behave as a developer in a project that's headed for failure?

I am a developer in a 5-member team and I believe our project is headed for disaster. I'll describe why in a moment, but my question is: how should I behave? The deadline is in 1.5 months, and I ...
49
votes
6answers
39k views

How to manage github issues for (priority, etc)? [closed]

I'm new to github, and am looking for advice on how to manage issues. I'm used to having priority and other ordering options but see that none exist. How do others manages issues during the ...
71
votes
14answers
9k views

How should I remember what I was doing and why on a project three months back?

I was working on a project three months back, and then suddenly another urgent project appeared and I was asked to shift my attention. Starting tomorrow, I'll be heading back to the old project. I ...
114
votes
18answers
30k views

Dealing with engineers that frequently leave their jobs [closed]

My friend is a project manager for a software company. The most frustrating thing for him is that his engineers frequently leave their jobs. The company works hard to recruit new engineers, transfer ...
20
votes
4answers
58k views

What is an example of a good SMART objective for a programmer? [duplicate]

Following on from this question, I wondered if folk might be able to suggest some samples of what might be considered a "good" objective in a periodic review cycle for a programmer? Let's define ...
26
votes
5answers
3k views

How does one become a leader in a team of programmers? [duplicate]

What skills, knowledge and talents should a junior programmer aim to obtain in order to be qualified to become a team leader?
12
votes
7answers
930 views

Documentation degrading - how to deal with it?

Important: we have no issues whatsoever with source code documentation. This belongs to regular code audit and is kept up to date. Our problem is with developers documentation (or, "external" if you ...
31
votes
17answers
6k views

Is rotating the lead developer a good or bad idea?

I work on a team that has been flat organizationally since it's creation several months ago. My manager is non-technical and this means that our whole team is responsible for decision-making. My ...
55
votes
6answers
4k views

Bug reopen vs. new

A bug was opened, fixed, verified and closed. A month later, it showed up again in a subsequent version after several iterations without any regression. Provided the bug characteristics are the same, ...
24
votes
6answers
9k views

how much time do you spend on Unit testing?

In a company I used to work for, executives insisted that the code coverage with unit tests must be 99% or more. This resulted in writing more tests than code. It took us literally 3 days to write ...
22
votes
4answers
6k views

Are there any studies on the Efficiency/Effectiveness of Agile vs Waterfall [closed]

In a meeting the other day a claim was made that agile was only 60% as efficient in development time when compared to waterfall. I am not looking to validate or refute this claim. I am interesting ...
17
votes
6answers
5k views

How big should a single commit be? [duplicate]

A discussion has come up at work and I want to get the opinion of other programmers. During my time in college, we only used SVN for sourcecontrol. Everybody commits to the same server and all ...
24
votes
10answers
3k views

How to add a new developer to the team

I run a small company composed of only 2 developers. We are building a very big application for one of our clients. Development on this project has gone on for 1.5 years. Now this client has secured ...
23
votes
12answers
12k views

Why does adding more resource to a late project make it later?

It's a fairly common adage that adding more programmers to a late project will make matters worse. Why is this?
21
votes
12answers
5k views

Is it significantly costlier to fix a bug at the end of the project?

In a blog post by Andrew Hay, the following axiom was posited: It costs significantly more to fix a bug at the end of the project that it does to fix the same bug earlier in the project. However, ...
14
votes
14answers
835 views

Should we encourage coding styles in favor of developer's autonomy, or discourage it in favor of consistency?

A developer writes if/else blocks with one-line code statements like: if (condition) // Do this one-line code else // Do this one-line code Another uses curly braces for all of them: if (...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

How to quantify the work perfomed by a developer/programmer? [duplicate]

I know the best four naive ways of achieving this. Commit count: In the code repository count the number of commits done by a user. However this is just what the name says, counting the commits. It ...