Many years ago I met a top programming consultant who had a curious titleThe Shadow embossed on his business card. I was puzzled. Why would a competent, high-level consultant hand out cards bearing a jocular handle like that?
Having watched successful corporate programmers at work over the years, I think I have figured out why. All of the really talented programmers Ive metprogrammers who have developed advanced and important applicationsare Shadows. They are known by their product, not by their personality or appearance. They are compulsive about doing focused, reliable, and consistent work, with well-executed testing and documentation. And so, when such a programmer goes on to another project, no one will need to know his name , for no one will need to summon him to provide an explanation or to untangle a glitch hes created. If that happens, a programmer is not the professional that his manager wants him to be.
Some programming efforts are so massive in size and scope that they require the combined efforts of dozens of programmers. Your company wants the product of its programmers to be consistent, seamless, and attributable to the entire programming team, rather than to individual programmers, even though each line of source code was written by a single programmer who was focused on a tiny block of work. You should be ready to give the code that seamless look and feel.