Last week, I had the pleasure to meet Prof. Alexander G. Dean from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of North Carolina State University. Prof. Dean has been in charge of reviewing a large project for which I'm the main maintainer.
I have to admit that, when my boss told me about this review, I was a bit worried but, in the end, I realized that this could have been an opportunity for both me and the project itself. So I tried to attend the two-days meeting with Prof. Dean keeping an open mind.
How It Went
As I was expecting, the project is not perfect and some of the procedures we are using need to be improved. Several things that came up during the discussion were things that I already knew but hearing them in a row makes some impression.
Prof. Dean gave me some good hints, suggested tools to use (especially for the design part) and made me think about things I didn't consider. I really enjoyed his way of saying things and provide suggestions. I also appreciated his humility and his humanity.
He perfectly understands that in the business world there are constraints (mainly time and money) that prevent to follow all the best practices. So he gave us suggestions, not mandatory rules to follow.
I'm really satisfied about the review. It's something I would suggest for any project. Of course, after that, you need to roll up the sleeves and start changing things. Probably not every suggestion can be followed and some things will be unpractical to implement, but eventually you'll end up with a better product.