OpinionAs a programmer, I deeply loathe mediocre programmers
      – BorgClown, 2009-03-19 at 06:36:14   (6 comments)

On 2009-03-19 at 06:43:43, BorgClown wrote...
It is arrogant, but I pride myself on carefully planning and crafting of the software projects I am being paid to develop, so when I have to maintain a coworker's code and see it plagued with redundant logic, inconsistent naming schemes and plain dead-brain logic, I feel contempt for their mediocre just-enough-to-get-paid work. The reason is that I consider computer code as an extension of your own mind, a way of making a machine mechanize a part of your thought. Seeing seriously sloppy code makes me think the programmer has a sloppy way of thinking. In reality, many people don't see computer code as I do, and therefore, they don't bother with trying to make it reasonably perfect. And realizing this truth keeps my loathing mind sane, and my ego in check.
On 2009-03-19 at 09:49:30, Lee J Haywood wrote...
It does take a long time to build up a set of personal standards that you follow for each project, e.g. laying out code, naming variables, writing comments. It's almost guaranteed that you'll dislike what other people write if they don't follow those same standards. One product I worked on had coding standards that showed each (multi-line) command available and how it should be indented, how to comment, etc. Since we all followed the same standards, there was far less scope for variation and even with the worst programmers you could point to the standards and say that they weren't following them properly. A few years ago I helped develop some standards for a mud, and although they won't have been adopted I went through a back-and-forth discussion of why a particular method was best... which led to the layout I still use today for all C-like languages. It's always interesting to look at my older code and see how I used an older, inferior layout back then. Tip: Don't cram everything into the smallest space.
On 2009-03-19 at 13:52:42, Thelevellers wrote...
It's listening to my old house mate talk about how he plans and implements all his ideas that has put me off programming! I was used as a 'hmmm, ok, yeah, sounds cool' sounding board when I lived with him, and I do enjoy trying to follow the logic, but I don't think I have the mind and/or patience to work it all out...
On 2009-03-19 at 16:02:04, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Programming relies heavily on trial and error, so it's not all tedious planning (although it is mostly tedious debugging). But then if someone cannot write their code so that it can be easily ready by others, no matter how complex, then they're a poor programmer. Commenting should be a science, not an art, and it ought to be possible to reconstruct a program from its comments alone, with no need for any technical references such as variable/function names - so even a non-programmer can understand them. I don't know anyone else that does this properly, however.
On 2009-03-21 at 07:29:48, BorgClown wrote...
Some gurus say that commenting should done scarcely, instead it's the code what must make evident its intention. I share that school, so my code relies on concise blocks with the occasional comment header to clarify possible obscurity. Imagine my cringe when I see, for example hybrids of vacuity and inaccuracy like this one I saw yesterday: <tt>// Adds ABC1 to ABC2 A1 = A1 + XY2
On 2009-03-21 at 10:23:44, Lee J Haywood wrote...
That's the worst form of commenting, like when people only use comments as warnings for their bad code. Comments are generally shorter the block of code that they cover, and instantly understandable whereas code only tells you what it literally does. The key thing is that comments should say what the code is intended to do - that's what makes them useful, and they should appear at the start of every function and logical block. So there you go - you comment differently to me, therefore you're a bad, bad programmer. (-: