Code Ownership also mean Code Responsibility

time to read 2 min | 277 words

image I recently reviewed a code base. Nothing unusual about that, I do this all the time. But this is the first time that I actually had a migraine from reading a codebase.

I talked to a couple of team members about that, and the name of a previous developer came up repeatedly. That developer is no longer on the team, however, and has no input on the way it currently works. Moreover, the code base is pretty small, and the team had had sole ownership of that for months by this time.

Here is a small piece of advice, learned from my army experience, if you own something, you are also responsible for it. Now, there are some special cases, where it takes a while to turn the freighter, but after a while, that excuse is no longer valid.

It is your code, why is it so ugly that I have a migraine?!

And no, saying that X did that this way is not a valid option if it past a week from the time you got the code base. Take a look at the image to the right, what do you think is the first priority of a new captain on that ship?

And if it wasn’t your priority, then it is going to be your fault that it is still in this stage. You don’t get to blame the other guy. You own the code, you are responsible for it, period.