The Joel Test - 10 years later.
In August 2000, Joel Spolsky published a shortish blog post that became a litmus test for the health of a software development shop. He distilled the monstrous frameworks for determining code quality down to a handful of questions:
- Do you use source control?
- Can you make a build in one step?
- Do you make daily builds?
- Do you have a bug database?
- Do you fix bugs before writing new code?
- Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
- Do you have a spec?
- Do programmers have quiet working conditions?
- Do you use the best tools money can buy?
- Do you have testers?
- Do new candidates write code during their interview?
- Do you do hallway usability testing?
"Yes" answers are worth one point. According to Joel, a tolerable score needs to be above 10.
The Joel test is now over 10 years old, and in spite of efforts to revamp it, the original 10 questions still hold up.
In my own tiny shop, I score 9, and I'll sure as hell score higher if and when it grows. Horrifyingly, an informal review of my clients over the last 10 years shows scores averaging 2.8.
The reasons why the software industry is in such abysmal shape are clear... and it remains our fault.
- by jturner
- in News