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Methodologist or Gunslinger

Methodologist or Gunslinger—The Joel Test

12 Steps to Better Software, or the Gunslinger in You

How many of these 12 steps do you use in your development environment? How much do you implement the steps that you use? Joel mentioned in his article that a score of 10 or lower indicates problems; I’m not convinced of that. As I mentioned, not all of these steps relate as well to the i development community as they do to other communities that have multiple developers and segments of code. But I do think that the steps in the middle—4 through 10—can directly relate to our community. So a score of 7 in those steps would be top notch. Where do you stand? Joel also mentioned that a development shop could still produce good software if the developers were gunslingers, which I took to mean a highly skilled developer who can succeed even without using these steps. Are you a method man or a gunslinger?

It’s Your Turn. What do you think? What’s your score? Join the conversation in a specially created blog where you can comment.

Michael Ryan is a technical editor with IBM Systems Magazine. Michael can be reached at



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