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Posted Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:50 AM
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If we called "Best Practices" by their true name (The One Practice To Rule Them All) people would be more skeptical...
Post #1521562
Posted Tuesday, December 10, 2013 9:45 AM


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Jeff Moden (12/10/2013)
Robert.Sterbal (12/9/2013)
The words "Best Practice" are an industry wide problem. We need to acknowledge them as recommended processes, which deviations from should be researched, not prohibited.


+1 to that. I'll also state that there are certain "Best Practices" that were born just because someone decided to call it that and they've actually not done any testing to support the "Its a best practice" claim. To wit, there are some "Best Practice" recommendations that I've run across in the past that are actually worst practices in my book the worst of which is "It's ok to use a While loop if you can't figure out another way to do it". They never identify what a While loop is actually appropriate for nor demonstrate methods to easily avoid While loops and so people don't take the time to learn the any way to avoid the While loop because it's supposedly ok to use if you can't think of a way.


Agreed. Whether adopted from some external source or developed internally, BP's should be documented to show fit within the org, including evidence that they fit the need and represent sane approaches.

Our Best Practices are captured on an internal Wiki; each best practice gets its own page, with context as to when to when and when to NOT use, evidenced we might have developed (and links to anything external); where it's been applied; and always, some form of open discussion area should there be a challenge to the entry.


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Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?
Post #1521580
Posted Wednesday, December 11, 2013 3:11 AM
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Things get badged up as best practice thus sullying the term best practice in the same way that certain practices get badged as agile while actually being bodge it and wing it thus sullying the term agile.

The context in which something is best practice is important.
For example, "for integers use the smallest integer data type possible" is open to abuse.
"Use the smallest data type that covers the possible use cases" is better, though not a panacea.

To my mind the term "best practice" is intended to be "preferred common usage" to help newbies from straying into dangerous territory without appropriate skills/awareness. Stage one is learning the rules. Stage two is learning the caveats to those rules. Stage three is discovering new rules/caveats.


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Post #1521791
Posted Monday, December 23, 2013 5:12 AM


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Just as with Design Patterns (see Gamma et al), the context of use is required together with when it is both appropriate and inappropriate to apply. Examples help too. The worst "Best Practices" are those that frame advice in an authoritarian voice without and justification nor any caveats.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1525477
Posted Monday, December 23, 2013 5:59 AM


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David.Poole (12/11/2013)
To my mind the term "best practice" is intended to be "preferred common usage" to help newbies from straying into dangerous territory without appropriate skills/awareness. Stage one is learning the rules. Stage two is learning the caveats to those rules. Stage three is discovering new rules/caveats.


I like Stage Four the best... learning that "It Depends".


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
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Posted Monday, December 23, 2013 7:32 AM
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I remember hearing a surgeon talk about his surgical memoir. It really struck me. He said, the first 10 years, you learn how to cut. The next 10 years, you learn when to cut. The next 10 years, you learn when not to cut.
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