The dev team of one: accountability
Being in a technical team of one can really suck sometimes.
One of the problems I have is accountability. I am not directly accountable, nor working with, anyone in particular. The only people I am really dealing with on a technical difficulty are past me and future me.
The trouble is, I am not very nice to future me, and past me is not very nice to me. I am in fact, considerably more less nice to future me than I would be to probably any other human on earth. I screw up his code base, check in code when the tests don't all work, write some of the crappiest git commits possible. Here are a choice few:
- "err": (3 changed files with 38 additions and 9 deletions)
- "close": (4 changed files with 3 additions and 122 deletions)
- "Smart decimals": (9 changed files with 73 additions and 47 deletions)
But, recently the wonderful Steven Baker offered to help out with Float from time to time, so I gave him access to our GitHub repo. It didn't occur to me that he would now see all my crappy commits in his GitHub feed until this happened:
@philip_roberts Anothing tip: commit message should say “why”. Look at your latest commit, the diff and the message both tell me what.— Steven R. Baker (@srbaker) November 21, 2012
Since then I have been much more considerate about the commit messages I post. Just knowing that they will show up in his feed is enough to make me take the few extra seconds to do a good job.
This has got me thinking about two things:
- There must be lots of other ways to build this kind of mini, friendly, accountability in to my workflow, to keep me on the right track.
- If anyone else needs a commit message over-seer I will happily help you out!