The Joel Test how does it work?


I came across the following sentence below.


"We achieved 11/12 points on" The Joel Test, "which measures the quality of   software development within our company. "

What is it about? How does The Joel Test work? Is it really a software quality meter?

asked by anonymous 09.07.2016 / 01:19

1 answer


What is

This is Joel Test ( In Portuguese ).

It does not measure software quality, though some believe it does. In fact some believe that it is possible to quantify software quality, when in fact it gives only to quantify some criteria about defects. The test does not even fall into this error. And it's very simple. Basically the answers are "yes" or "no" for 12 items.

  • Do you use code control?
  • Can you compile in just one step?
  • Do you make daily compilations?
  • Do you have a bugs database?
  • Do you fix bugs before writing new code?
  • Do you have an up-to-date timeline?
  • Do you have a specification?
  • Do programmers have quiet working conditions?
  • Do you use the best tools money can buy?
  • Do you have testers?
  • New candidates write code during interview?
  • Do you run runner usability tests?

Looking at the items we see that it gives an indication of team maturity in adopting some techniques and methodologies that Joel believes are important.

Anyone who is not naive realizes that he can adopt all this and produce completely deficient software. In fact this holds true for the adoption of any methodology. That's what I always say: doing right is what matters.

Of course, it's interesting to have some parameters. Lists like this help you think about it. But you have to know when to follow or not.

As a general idea, these are excellent recommendations. But there's a case that staying under 12 is the best thing you can do. Trying to "pass the test" at all costs is silly.

Test motivation

Understand that Joel started his blog a lot to advertise his company that produces tools for developers. Much of what he says makes a lot of sense. After all he is an experienced developer having worked on what is probably the best software from Microsoft (or was until they started to spoil). But he has his own goal with the blog. Do not lose sight of it. That being said, I recommend reading almost every article he has published. He has a genuine interest in improving the quality of the developers.

The test also helps to sell his company as a pleasant place to work. One of the goals of the blog has always been to attract the best talent to his company. Which shows the quality of his entrepreneur. He knows he can not produce good results with mediocre developers. To win the best minds, you have to offer what others do not and you need to make everyone know that.

So most likely the phrase quoted in the question comes from someone who is doing the same thing, they want to sell you that there is a good place to work. So they receive thousands of resumes and can select the best ones.

Do not take the test so seriously

There are those who disagree with him. There are people who think that there are more important things missing and there are people who think they have things that do not say much for the direct quality of the development environment. In the background everyone can study the subject and make their own list. There are a few variations out there (search in English for updated ). Author's own opinion .

Who uses Stack Overflow Jobs knows that advertisers are encouraged to respond to Joel Test. So it became another marketing tool.

09.07.2016 / 01:36