We Don't Really Promote Anyone's Code

Code

Many people get into their projects with their own experiences and skills. Much of the time they are tasked with upgrading legacy systems. Sometimes they don't even have the opportunity to get trained by the previous developers on how their code works or why they were coded the way they were.

The result? Everyone hates the previous developer's code. It's not just because everyone has a different style, but much of the time projects have tight deadlines so developers do not have time to comment, document, or increase the efficiency or reduce the redundancy in the code. We also tend to notice faults more than we notice correct procedures.

I am sure many of us got into a project and explicitly proclaimed the code we received was horrific. Chances are it was not a work of perfection otherwise people wouldn't have wanted to improve the legacy system anyway.

Next time, let's remember the fact that we probably delivered one or two projects that we did not have time to perfect.

How can you avoid this in the future?

  • Leave tiny three-four word comments everywhere
  • While typing code always consider looping.
  • If you just copied and pasted code, consider making it a function
  • Design the function call before you design a function
  • Consider dividing lengthy code into separate pages
  • Name files, variables, functions, accurately and appropriately
  • Do not call a function just to call another function.
  • If two functions are similar, combine them and add a parameter

Of course, having a good design and knowing standards would help a lot of programmers to avoid making these legacy systems an unfortunate reality, but I guess we should be happy we have more work to do.

casey's picture

Ah very nice tips Vassily, I

Ah very nice tips Vassily, I do think standardization is a problem.

gsktskt's picture

Ya tell me about it. I get

Ya tell me about it. I get projects like this all the time.

This is why a GOOD university degree for software engineering positions is a REQUIREMENT.

ergonomic's picture

Haha, I complain about other

Haha, I complain about other people's code all the time. But yeah who knows who complains about me.

eric's picture

I don't care, I still think

I don't care, I still think any developer who gives me crap should be labeled as a crappy developer. It would help us all improve.

Baran Ornarli's picture

Yeah if only people followed

Yeah if only people followed those tips you mention.

trapline91's picture

Leaving a 3 to 5 word

Leaving a 3 to 5 word explanation of what a function or loop does only makes logical sense, so why don't more people do this? Then again by making it more difficult for a new dev to take on your source code only makes you more valuable to keep hired.

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If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.

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