I read this post by Dr. Neil Roodyn and this follow up post by Dr. Greg Low over at TechTalkBlogs. Its an interesting discussion since Adam Cogan, the other RD in Australia is into rules, and I suspect that Greg is as well.
I’m a bit of a fence sitter on this one. I recognise that it is good to have a culture in the development team which tends to lead to code being produced the same way, but I’ve seen rules applied in too many organisations where either they are completely inflexible or “mock-flexible” where they say they can change but the person who created the rule gets their nose out of joint when the rule is challenged.
What I really can’t stand is entire teams being roped into writing standards for their organisation before they actually start writing code. The culture or rules that you develop will emerge over time so don’t try and pre-empt what they are going to be up front – although having somewhere to right them down when they are discovered is not a bad idea.