Development Tips: Singular Team Coding
- 06 Mar
Many of us developers find ourselves working on a team consisting of me, myself and I. Just a lonely team of one, with nobody to review our work, tell us our code plans are good, or if they're closer to the kind of thing that could accidentally start World War III and IV in unison. For quite a while I kept thinking this was just how life was for small studios and online teams.
For quite a while, I would spend some time thinking carefully through my code, systems and frameworks, and then sit down and program them. Around the start of 2015 however, I started doing things a bit differently. I've been talking a lot on social channels about the Match3 engine that I'm programming for my company. It's incredibly powerful, and generally capable of knocking together a new Match3 game in little to no time at all. And rather than thinking then coding, I spent a bit of time planning out my code on Google Drive. Created a document, planned out my variables, properties and methods, and reviewed it closely.
Then came the big change. The one change that was truly different. I sent this short document to other developers to review.
By doing just that, they were able to give me feedback, ideas and thoughts on the directions I proposed in the document. By doing this one change, my little team of one was able to get a team of professional developers to help give feedback and suggestions to an important codebase with very little time needed on their part.
With the success of that, I've used the same trick for some new reusable frameworks we are developing - such as a Language system, a Weapons framework, Combat frameworks, etc. I even got a friend who does weapons system planning and balancing for big FPS titles to give my Weapons framework a look and he gave some critical tweak suggestions and feedback.
I'm not the only one that has the opportunity to do any of this. Everyone does! I suspect a lot of people don't do it however simply because asking developer friends to review tens of thousands of lines of code if a bit of a lot to ask. But asking them to spend 10 minutes to review a one or two page code plan... that is much more doable. And let me be the first to say if you have a quick code design that you need some feedback on, I would be happy to review it for you!