Programmer A has been maintaining system X since it was developed. A major upgrade is to be undertaken, and new programmers are being brought in to work with programmer A.Programmer A is discussing with his manager how best to spend the time remaining before the new team starts. There are one or two minor modifications that users have requested. These will not take long, and could be cleared up before the new team arrives, thus giving it a clean start. On the other hand, a couple of minor straightforward modifications might be just the thing to get the new programmers familiar with thesystem. Programmer A feels he should use the time to comment the existing code and bring the system documentation up to date. Being the sole maintainer, he has been a bit lax at times. His manager thinks that getting started on documenting the requirements for the major upgrade might be a better use of the time, to give the new team a flying start. The old code will eventually be ported to another language. Is there any point in updating its documentation? If there is any catching up of paperwork to be done, programmer A could update his QA backup forms – the forms that all personnel are expected to keep to show how, when and where electronic data is backed up. Programmer A defends his position of keeping his own personal records as he is the only one with access to,or ability to use, the data he has responsibility for backing up. Furthermore, he points out, the whole system will be changed when thenew team starts. The manager agrees, but points out that a QA reviewwould still put a black mark against the non-existence of this paperwork.
They debate the pros and cons. What is to be gained or lost by the timing of each of the suggested tasks?