Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM Careers

The Lone Developer Problem

screen reflected in a man's glasses

Maybe you've run into the lone developer problem.

Credit: Getty Images

A lot of software is built by one person. An entire product or a significant piece of a system might be built by a lone developer.

Code written by a single developer is usually hard for others to work with. When a single programmer understands all the pieces, they can tie them together in ways that make sense to them. The author sees a well-integrated system, but a future reader sees spaghetti code.

Code review can be a useful way to catch bugs and design flaws, but the lone programmer can't easily do this.

Relatedly, it's it's easier to have bad ideas if you don't have to explain them. And it's impossible to get someone else's good ideas when there's no one else around.

From Evan Hahn
View Full Article


No entries found