The first article on Robert Fulgum’s list, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, is:
No matter how much of a hot-shot expert you are, it still applies.
A programmer I worked with recently had the attitude that it was his code. Nobody else should be able to look at it, let alone modify it.
There were at least 2 other programmers (I was one of them) who needed to see what his code looked like in order to do our parts of the project. “Just give me your code,” was his position, “and I’ll incorporate it into my code where it needs to go.”
Except then he didn’t, or maybe couldn’t, get the code to mesh. Not surprising. The rest of us could only guess what he had going on behind his Wizard of Oz curtain.
Who knows why he was so protective of his code. He may have been afraid the rest of us would mess it up. He may have thought he could do it better than anyone else. He may have thought that if anyone else knew how things worked, he’d be replaced. Maybe he was embarrassed for the rest of us to see what he’d written. I don’t know. Never will.
Skip to the ending. The more he tightened his grip, the more his control over the project started slipping through his fingers.
Nicole Sullivan (one of the pioneers of Object Oriented CSS) on the other hand, runs her shop like an open source project. All the code is in the open for everyone related to the project, even the client (gasp!). It just works better. Even for a hot-shot expert like Nicole.