Reality of Large Corp Coding
I really enjoyed the article "Corporate Web Standards" today, not only for the primary thoughts, but also the secondary discussion of corporate smells. [http://www.digital-web.com/articles/corporate_web_standards/] (thanks for the link from Elsewhere on the Net [http://www.quirksmode.org/elsewhere/archives/2007/07/index.html#entry1348])
The author describes a journey to implement web standards, but expresses some large corporation insight along the way. From youthful exuberance:
"Initial stages of the project began and soon enough chunks of the project would be completed, neatly packaged, and passed off to the next stage of design or development. It was a finely tuned assembly line—we weren't cutting any corners, and were planning each step logically and carefully during those initial phases.
The code being produced was clean and semantic."
to experienced anxiety:
"After a few weeks, the pressure began to build in our isolated building. As the launch date of our initial website approached, scope creep became a big problem. Stakeholders who signed off on designs beforehand would start to see final, assembled products and make fundamental architectural changes, as they had not fully understood the signed-off documents they had approved only weeks earlier."
"The code became an angry, growing beast."
Not only can I relate to these statements, from 9 years at multiple large corporations, but I fully appreciate his attempt to bring everyone together; to get everyone on the same team.
"We all like to comment our code in different ways, use different CSS layouts, and apply different naming conventions to our classes and IDs, but this won't work if you want to work within large project teams and develop to a company-wide set of standards.
It can actually be quite a difficult step for many developers to swallow their pride and give up personal coding conventions, and instead agree on standards that work better for the group as a whole."
I could go on and on about the high quality of this article, but in the end just read it for yourself. I really can't do it justice, as the author did a terrific job at expressing the necessary but difficult task of creating and utilizing large project corporate web standards.