How does my company/my team score at The Joel Test
1. Do you use source control? YES
2. Can you make a build in one step? YES for most products, NO for others.
3. Do you make daily builds? YES
4. Do you have a bug database? YES
5. Do you fix bugs before writing new code? NO
6. Do you have an up-to-date schedule? NO
. Either it changes too often, or stuff gets moved, or we're behind the schedule because we forgot something to do.
7. Do you have a spec? NO
8. Do programmers have quiet working conditions? NO
. Coders interrupt each other very often.
9. Do you use the best tools money can buy? NO. The only good commercial tools are PL/SQL Developer and JProfiler. All others are open-source or other free tools with bad usability or incomplete integration (e.g. The Gimp, M2Eclipse)
10. Do you have testers? NO
11. Do new candidates write code during their interview? NO
12. Do you do hallway usability testing? NO. Occasionally we do, with at most 1 other "user".
Final score: 4/12
According to Joel, that's above average, but still too bad. We'll have to work on that.
The things i'm going to change next:
5) - fixing existing/known bugs before writing new code/new features.
2) - making all our high-level builds automated, not only single artifacts.
What concerns me most is point 7), although I haven't got a clear idea why and how to write a spec for something which is already being built. The current plan is to use the user's manual and developer's manual, extract abstract information and then detail it out into an architectural overview documentation.