Diagnosing Design and Programming Problems

There are several typical design and programming problems that can be avoided by using the design and programming tools and techniques in this chapter. To illustrate these problems, the three following scenarios show how a programming team can grow increasingly frustrated over the course of their software projects as a result of losing control over their source code.

Haunted by Ghosts of Old Problems

Many programming teams use a shared folder to store source code. Even though they are generally diligent about making backups, and everyone is careful about maintaining the integrity of the code, mistakes sometimes slip through. Despite their best efforts, the team finds that new code seems to disappear with some regularity, while defects that were fixed months ago mysteriously resurface.

At first, the problems happened because one programmer would overwrite another's changes. One programmer would copy the code to his hard drive to work on it. While he was working on his copy of the code, a second programmer would copy it to her drive. The first programmer would copy his changes back to the shared folder. But when the second programmer copied her changes back, it would overwrite the changes made by the first programmer. This caused problems that were difficult to track down; the first programmer did not realize that his code was no longer in the folder (and neither did anyone else).

This problem seemed to get steadily worse as the code base grew. ...

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