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Signs your colleague may not be a good developer #2

Last post 06-01-2008, 11:51 by icelava. 0 replies.
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  •  06-01-2008, 11:51 2992

    Signs your colleague may not be a good developer #2

    To me, how a colleague - one who professes to be a software developer - utilises Windows Explorer is probably the easiest early sign. Anybody who operates WE with its default view mode immediately goes into my suspect list.

    Forgive me if I appear to be having an obsessive compulsive disorder for revealing every single detail there is to everything in my systems, but for every Windows OS that I install, one of the immediate things I do is to configure WE away from its absolutely irritating "user friendly" display.

    • Default everything to Details view.
    • Default WE target path to %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} so that shows up the My Computer view with drives instead of My Documents.
    • Display the contents of system folders.
    • Display the full path in the address bar.
    • Display the full path in the title bar.
    • Show hidden files and folders.
    • Do not Hide extensions for known file types.
    • Do not Hide protected operating system files.
    • Do not Use simple file sharing.

    The default, and deliberate, view of hiding information is fine for normal users. I won't argue that against people who just want to see their files there and use it and save it without a care in the world. However, if the user is a software developer - by any measure - getting by without wanting to look at or use these details is simpy not acceptable

    • The extensions of your code or work files.
    • When the files were last modified.
    • Sorting the view by various detail headers (name, type, modification date, etc)
    • hidden/system files that may reside together with your code files, like VSS or SVN files.
    • The ability to see and copy the full path of the current location.
    • Never ever peeking into what's inside the Windows system directories.

    These are practices that I carry out day in and day out in not just my development work, but also daily tasks as a regular computer user. It is incredulous to me how fellow developers perform their work while denying and crippling themselves from all these extra (free) stuff. Watching them struggle to obtain information about their own files and system is simply a pain to watch.

    In my eyes this reveals a great deal with just how satisfied and complacent one gets with whatever the default settings are for an installation. Never bothering, ever, to discover the methods that are right under his/her very nose that can improve information disclosure or efficiency. It is almost as if they willfully opt to blind themselves and prefer to remain in ignorant bliss. The work style of such people applies broadly, of course. It is not just WE but evidently consistent in nearly every piece of software they use.

    Including Visual Studio.

    But I shall save that for another day...

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