Boy scouts have one rule: “Leave the camping place in a better condition than you found it.”
At Wildfuse, we apply this rule to programming all the time. It’s quite straightforward. Any flaw in the code is fixed, usually immidiately by the developer who encountered it, regardless if it is he who introduced the error. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a typo fix or something more substantial like creating a new abstraction. You leave the code in a better condition.
It’s obvious this approach has multiple advantages. First, our code is really clean, efficient and highly maintainable. As wine, it get’s better with age. Because we often have to touch code written by a fellow programmer to boyscout, all developers have good orientation in the whole codebase of the project they are participating on. Also, I personaly get a pleasant self-satisfaction feeling doing this.
What about you, do you boyscout?