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?
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