What has pharmacy to do with programming?

What has pharmacy to do with programming?

I visited my local pharmacy last Friday to get some prescription drug. I sat in front of the pharmacist, who gave me very thorough guidance about the usage. At the time of payment - before she handed me the boxes - she suddenly said:

Excuse me, but I need to get a signature from someone else, as I am a trainee.

Immediately another pharmacist came by, put her smart card into the computer, checked the boxes against the electronic prescription, and then signed the delivery. The whole process took maybe 20 seconds, and I’m certain trainee felt safer as her work is checked against mistakes. And myself - as a client - I felt like they care.

With the risk of sounding like Uncle Bob: this episode reminded me about how one should act if you really care about quality. This model of signing other people’s work is built into some software development processes, like the Github flow. If you are not using pull requests, you can still simulate this kind of apprenticeship model with strict use of code reviews before merging into your trunk. Remember, that this must not be for all your codebase; you can be very strict on important, core modules, and let others evolve freely.

(Post image credit “Apothecary Now by Simon Harrod”)