Saturday, August 02, 2008

Who are you likely to be working with?

Last Wednesday, after looking at a process module written by a cow-orker that was totally alien to any of the codebase we have, I was reminded of the words of a former boss - "Don't be clever".  His point was that if you are being clever, you are making things hard to understand, and that makes the code harder to work with.  This post makes the same point, near the end, when discussing exceptions and execution flow.  The odds are great that your fellow programmers are NOT the geniuses being hired by Google, or running a startup funded by Y-Combinator, so you need to write your code so that it is easy to understand and debug.
You also need to write programmer documentation in the CVS system, so that the next developer does not have to hunt it down in whatever document storage system you use - it needs to be write next to the code, and it needs to be clear.

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1 comment:

Brian Tkatch said...

Interesting point. I pretty much agree that it is a necessity to write code easy instead of genius-like. Otherwise, as you pointed out it will simply become unmaintainable.

In the rare cases that some really nifty code is required. The comments better explain it very well, especially why the simple approach was not used.