Want to envision, design, and implement reusable software components that your development community will enthusiastically adopt? Co-create! Here are 5 tips to leverage co-creation when driving systematic reuse initiatives:
- Have an idea that applies to multiple projects? Get the project leads to co-ordinate and align resources and partner with developers from both teams to develop the design
- Share the source code of all your reusable components so every developer in the team can see under the hood how the component works and how it can be improved
- Work hands-on with developers when defining classes, external interfaces, etc. – not just via block diagrams but actual code. Pair program and show them how to think using abstractions, what aspects of the design to make extensible and the rationale for it, etc. – you’ll be surprised how effective this is and how much all parties learn from the process
- Share the big picture – every time and across every project – developers and development managers need to be convinced that their contribution aligns with the overall technical strategy. This should also highlight why a shared component’s test coverage and robustness needs to be high and continuously improved
- Use design reviews, code reviews, and retrospectives to continually look for ways to collaborate and leverage each other. See boiler plate code that can be better encapsulated, or missing tests, or a smarter algorithm – get your hands into the code and work with the concerned developer. They will appreciate why you want them to use a particular design pattern or think about a problem in a certain way. Added bonus – just like item #3 – every participant will learn from the exercise.
Finally, co-creating reusable components greatly reduces friction associated with having to implement a design that was mandated. You want passion and enthusiasm from the dev community – not compliance!