Best Practices vs Reality

Posted by RonHill on Programmers See other posts from Programmers or by RonHill
Published on 2011-06-29T23:51:39Z Indexed on 2011/06/30 0:29 UTC
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On a scale depicting how closely best practices are followed, with "always" on one end and "never" on the other, my current company falls uncomfortably close to the latter. Just a couple trivial examples:

  • We have no code review process
  • There is very little documentation despite a very large code base (and some of it is blatantly incorrect/misleading)
  • Untested/buggy/uncompilable code is frequently checked in to source control
  • It is comically complicated to create a debuggable build for some of our components because of its underlying architecture.
  • Unhandled exceptions are not uncommon in our releases
  • Empty Catch{ } blocks are everywhere.

Now, with the understanding that it's neither practical nor realistic to follow ALL best practices ALL the time, my question is this: How closely have commonly accepted best practices been followed at the companies you've worked for? I'm kind of a noob--this is only the second company I've worked for--so I'm not sure if I'm just more of an anal retentive coder or if I've just ended up at mediocre companies. My guess (hope?) is the latter, but a coworker with way more experience than me says every company he's ever worked for is like this. Given the obvious benefits of following most best practices most of the time, I find it hard to believe it's like this everywhere. Am I wrong?

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