January 25, 2011

Does your project have a tools directory?

Filed under: General Information,Meta — Ryan Wilcox @ 1:33 pm

My title here at Wilcox Development Solutions is Owner, Chief Engineer and Master Toolsmith. The last part is because I love making tools that make other people faster.

In every project we have the project itself, but I also encourage you to create a tools folder in your project, to keep items that might not add business value, but add programmer value.

Some examples:

  • On a Rails project I have a tools folder that contains a precommit hook for failing a commit if there are debugger statements left in
  • On a wxWidgets project I’ve put “package up and release this app” tools here. (Actually, we had three folders: tools, tools-osx, and tools-generic, as this was a cross-platform app)
  • On a larger project, where we were building a product line, I had scripts to build certain apps, or every app. This was especially helpful as individual apps in the project transitioned away from CodeWarrior to Xcode

I believe having a public place for tools encourages developers to share their workflow and efficiency tools with the group, ultimately making the team more efficient as a whole.