Clean Code Series: Part 6 – Teamwork Makes Clean Code Work

Chris / March 16, 2016 in 

I have some earth-shattering news to share…

Software Engineering is hard. Expectations for Software Engineers (as opposed to programmers) are high. We’re expected to have an ever-broadening spectrum of knowledge, and to be able to apply it to deliver quality results yesterday. There’s too much to learn. There’s not enough time. Meeting this expectation yourself can seem hopeless. It probably is.

But you don’t have to do it alone.

The best way to keep your software craftsmanship skills honed is to share the burden with a team just as driven as you. The next best thing to knowing it all is knowing who to call. Surrounding yourself with such a team requires a culture of learning, collaboration, and leading.

Cultivating a community like this is a challenge. Today we’ll talk about how, at BTI360, we foster such a culture around Clean Code practices.

BTI360 learns Clean Code by practicing together

At BTI360, we emphasize Clean Code from Day 1. Every teammate goes through an internal Clean Code 101 training where over six weeks a team of students not only learns Clean Code practices, but puts them into action through a series of problems.

Each session challenges you and your partner for the week to transform “unclean code” to meet Clean Code standards. It’s a difficult task – but you’re not alone – and by the end you’ve learned together that it’s never too late to get started with Clean Code. You can make an impact today with the skills this class teaches under your belt.

Clean Code 101 jumpstarts the skills of our new teammates, but it alone isn’t enough. That’s why we embed coding activities throughout the year for more practice. We rotate the specific activities on a regular basis to keep things interesting, but some examples from the past include code retreats, legacy code retreats, and code katas. These too are done in groups of course.

Our team is well prepared to put Clean Code into practice, but often times we collaborate with engineers from other backgrounds that might not share the same knowledge or viewpoint. It’s not enough to know the practices, we also have to be able to lead a diverse team towards Clean Coding success, even if many of our coworkers haven’t heard of Clean Code before. That’s why…

BTI360 hones leadership skills to guide teams to success

New BTI360 teammates not only go through Clean Code 101, they also go through Collaboration 101 where we learn soft skills that are a recipe for success when working with people of all backgrounds. We recognize that technical knowledge isn’t enough. We need to be able to lead effectively, especially on topics that really matter like Clean Code. Collaboration 101 is where we learn the skills to do just that.

Once again, one class isn’t enough. That’s why we reinforce it with DISC profile training, where we learn how to collaborate effectively with different personalities or behavioral styles.

Finally, practice makes perfect. We give our team ample opportunities to hone their soft skills by presenting at our monthly Orange Slice. These aren’t your usual all hands meetings. We use this time to present current technical knowledge our team will benefit from, and to engage in coding exercises to hone our craft. It’s yet another way we share the burden of learning, and lean on each other.

It’s never too late to get started with Clean Code

If you’re just getting started with Clean Coding, we hope this series has been a kick start to your knowledge. Now that you know the basics, it’s time to find you a team to lean on. Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas on what such a team looks like. Here’s to lifelong (shared) learning!

Read the Other Parts of the Clean Code Series:


March 2016 Orange Slice: Code Kata


Clean Code Series

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