Remember I told you about weird blue elephpants two weeks ago? You got it, it was our dream team of developers that attended the AFUP’s annual conference in Paris! As agreed, they came back with a lot to share on Build. Here, @tomlev will told you about Jean-François Lépine and the lecture he gave at the PHP Forum:

Is it necessary to make quality work?

“It was particularly stimulating because he put into words some intuitions you have when you’ve been doing web development for years.

When starting web development, a lot of developers first focus on technique, they want to code “clean”, etc. and it leads them to draw the same conclusion: each time a new developer arrives, he disapproves what has been done before and wants to change it all. But just take a small step back… then you realize it is useless to remove all the working parts of the source code. Even if they are not “state of the art” right now.

And this is exactly what I’ve learned from my experience, personally and professionally! Sometimes, you want to change parts of the code that seem to meet no actual standard (regarding quality, performance or even excellence). But you have to be careful, because these parts did meet these standards at the time they were created. It might not be the case now but it was back then! So yes, we could spend more time to make it better, nicer or with higher performance, but for now, at least it works.

Besides, another topic driven by Jean-François Lépine particularly draws my attention when he said it was necessary to focus on a small number of quality objectives (2 out of 20, to be specific) as attempting to achieve the others is totally pointless. When teams are well-coordinated on those 2 points, it allows a very much reliable assessment of the bug priority. Considering the multiple round trips between product, development and management teams for some requests, prioritize upstream is a great time-saving!”

A few words on Jean-François Lépine

Jean-François Lépine, @Halleck45, is greatly involved in software quality. He is a web consultant who wrote a couple of books on open-source, and he is regularly invited to give lectures at the AFUP’s annual conference. He also created PhpMetrics, a tool for PHP static analysis.

Note that the AFUP put videos of all lectures given at the last PHP Forum online, on their YouTube channel. How kind!