What is best practise?


Pheobe practices
Practise, just that.

Wikipedia sez:

best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. In addition, a “best” practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. Best practice is considered by some as a business buzzword, used to describe the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use.

This is my problem with ‘best practise’ – why is it called that? If it’s the ‘best’ way of doing things, why isn’t it just ‘practise’? Why do we have ‘good’ practise and ‘best’ practise? Would you use ‘good’ practise? Probably not, especially if there’s a better way of doing it, which is ‘best’ practise. So, if you’re only ever going to do ‘best’ practise, then it becomes ‘practise’, right? Then, if it’s just ‘practise’ then you wouldn’t refer to it that way, would you?

“How do you do stuff?”
“Oh, you know, with practise.”

I guess you can have ‘bad practise’, but then, that implies the opposite is ‘good practise’, which we just agreed you can’t have, didn’t we? Moreover, ‘developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use’  is silly, why would you do things the way other companies do things? This would just squash any chance of innovation; ‘That’s not best practise! Other companies aren’t doing that!’ dumb, dumb, dumb.

Let’s stop worrying about ‘best practise’ and just get on and make the way we do things better through regular reflection.

3 thoughts on “What is best practise?

  1. Interesting. Taken too literally it inhibits innovation, Ignored at all stuns growth. Eg. indenting your code properly is a best practice, yet taken too literally ends up in an argument over how a particularly nasty line of code should be formatted

    1. Is not indenting your code good practise? Or bad practise? If it’s either of those, why would you do them and not the ‘best’ practise? In that case, anything *BUT* indenting code is not as good as indenting code, so indent your code and it becomes practise!

      1. After I posted that, I realised I forgot to include what I actually wanted to say: Best Practices are created by the majority, for a most common solutions. So essentially, you follow the set Best Practices until you realise that it doesn’t make sense in *your* case, then you invent your own

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