The vigilance of great developers

One quality I've seen in great developers is that they are vigilant, merciless, and uncompromising in certain key areas. These are areas of the development process that are nonnegotiable. Even on their laziest days, these are the practices that they know that, if they break the rule once, they may break it again, or that this might open the door for another person to break this rule.

Actually, I'm probably not qualified to make this particular assessment, but I'll say one more thing anyway. I really think they do these things because they know this is the right think to do, and anything else would be the wrong thing to do.

What practices am I talking about? I'll finish this story tomorrow ...