OT: PSP, XP, TDD and other methodologies for solitary programmers

Brad Clements bkc at Murkworks.com
Thu Jan 2 16:58:00 CET 2003

I'm looking for war stories, comments and insight regarding suitable
development methodologies for "lone wolf" programmers.

That is, developers who work alone.  I'm also interested in how these
methods work in the context of Python development.

For example, I'm considering PSP and would like to hear from others who are
using it, or have tried it. "Real life" stories are useful. I'm somewhat
annoyed by the SEI (sm) aspect of PSP, so if you haven't been tutored by an
SEI instructor, phrase your statements as "PSP-like".

Regarding XP.. I'm a lone developer, so pair programming doesn't work, and I
can't see how the Code review step would be any different than what I do

I've also looked into "Software Inspection" methods, but .. again I'm
looking at my own stuff.

I'm intrigued by TDD and have started "test first, code second" on an
in-progress project (a large Zope/Python monster that is a wart-on-a-wart, a
bag-on-a-bag). Fortunately conversion to SAPDB is giving me an opportunity
to clean house.


Why should developers who work for big companies with deep pockets have all
the fun?

How can individual developers in small companies or even, self-employed
consultants, sharpen their toolset and implement best-of-breed development
methodologies? What really works for the solitary programmer?


I'm also looking for an existing group, wiki, mailing-list or whatnot whose
purpose is to bring together solitary developers (self-employed or small
business) to help them work out issues particular to our situation:
information & tools access, development techniques, work-ethics, personal
health and growth, continuing education, retirement and aging, etc. Does
anyone know of anything like this?

Thanks for any comments.

Novell DeveloperNet Sysop #5

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