The Joel Test: 12 Steps to Better Code

| -Uncategorized
By Joel Spolsky

Wednesday, August 09, 2000

Have you ever heard of SEMA? It’s a fairly esoteric
system for measuring how good a software team is. No,
wait! Don’t follow that link! It will take you about
six years just to understand that stuff. So I’ve come
up with my own, highly irresponsible, sloppy test to
rate the quality of a software team. The great part
about it is that it takes about 3 minutes. With all
the time you save, you can go to medical school.

The Joel Test

   1. Do you use source control?
   2. Can you make a build in one step?
   3. Do you make daily builds?
   4. Do you have a bug database?
   5. Do you fix bugs before writing new code?
   6. Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
   7. Do you have a spec?
   8. Do programmers have quiet working conditions?
   9. Do you use the best tools money can buy?
  10. Do you have testers?
  11. Do new candidates write code during their
  12. Do you do hallway usability testing?

E-Mail from ErL

You can comment with Disqus or you can e-mail me at