James Turner writes for O’Reilly Radar about the “best practices” plague afflicting software developers. So far (thank goodness) I haven’t had to play the code coverage game, a nice side effect of working on small teams for smaller companies where everyone works with everyone and there’s been less demand for rigid process or hard metrics. Even so, the ‘TATFT’ mindset is still a big part of current programming culture (particularly in Ruby) and that bugs me.
The object of following ‘best practices’ isn’t (or rather shouldn’t be) to spend your whole day marking off boxes on some endless pre-flight checklist — it’s to ship better software. Your toolbox doesn’t need to include every tool ever invented, not every tool is appropriate in every context, and tools that take longer to maintain than to use are almost never worth the trouble. Try to look at your process and tools objectively, and ask yourself how (or if) they’re helping you ship good code.