Narendra Dhami

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Adapting The Joel Test To Web Development

Posted by Narendra Dhami on November 11, 2009


Nearly a decade ago, Joel Spolsky came up with a method by which to evaluate software development shops that has come to be known as the Joel Test. This crucial test evaluates a software development company on the basis of twelve criteria points; Spoksly said that “a score of 12 is perfect, 11 is tolerable, but 10 or lower and you’ve got serious problems. The truth is that most software organizations are running with a score of 2 or 3, and they need serious help, because companies like Microsoft run at 12 full-time.”

When Joel wrote the test, there wasn’t much development for the web; the little that was being done wasn’t being done in any of the modern languages that we write in today. In fact, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Gmail, and LinkedIn hadn’t even been invented yet.

Today’s world makes heavy use of web-based software (the term “software as as a service” keeps floating around). And so, it is necessary to update Joel’s test in order to properly apply it to web development. This has been done by some folks, but I will do it again, mostly because I disagree with them. More…

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