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Mavericks and Methods

Working alone does not imply working without discipline or without good methodology, any more than working in a group guarantees results. Working in a group only guarantees there are more people involved. From the manager's perspective, however, using systematic development methodology assumes greater importance when there are developers working in isolation. Regression testing and implementation walkthroughs can only do so much in assuring quality. True quality cannot be achieved after the fact; it has to be designed and built in from the beginning. Systematic and formal methods for software development are proven ways of building in quality. The work of even the most independent coding cowboy will probably be improved and can certainly be trusted more if a systematic methodology is used.

In order to get the coding cowboys to use systematic development methods, management may have to compromise on which method is used. It is better that independent operators use their own idiosyncratic methods than no methods at all.


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