To do your job well, you need to be aware of, and to follow, both “little” best practices—very focused tips on a particular coding technique—and “big” best practices. This chapter offers some suggestions on the big picture: how to write your code as part of a high-quality development process.
My objective isn’t to “sell” you on any particular development methodology (though I must admit that I am most attracted to so-called “lightweight” methodologies such as Extreme Programming and SCRUM). Instead, I’ll remind you of basic processes you should follow within any big-picture methodology.
In other words, if you (or your methodology) don’t follow some form of the best practices in this chapter, you are less likely to produce high-quality, successful software. I don’t (with perhaps a single exception) suggest a specific path or tool. You just need to make sure you’ve got these bases covered.
 This chapter contains numerous references to Extreme Programming resources. For more information about SCRUM, “a process for empirically managing product development and improving team productivity,” visit http://www.controlchaos.com. Note that SCRUM isn’t an acronym, but a reference to the “scrum” in the sport of rugby, a metaphor for the daily meetings that are the core of the SCRUM methodology.