The Joel Test

By Deane Barker on October 31, 2004

The Joel Test: 12 Steps to Better Code: Here’s an oldie but a goodie from Joel Spolsky. It’s a 12-item checklist of things you need to do right in a software development shop. Here’s the first five:

1. Do you use source control?
2. Can you make a build in one step?
3. Do you make daily builds?
4. Do you have a bug database?
5. Do you fix bugs before writing new code?

In the article, he expands on each one and explains why it’s important, what happens if you don’t have it, and offers some advice for implementing it.

Joel claims that his informal surveys have indicated that most shops run at a two or a three. I can believe that.