10 Programming Quotes and Lessons Learned

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Here is a list of 10 programming quotes I picked from this longer list, and what I learned from each:

1.It’s hard enough to find an error in your code when you’re looking for it; it’s even harder when you’ve assumed your code is error-free.
Lesson: Always assume that your code is buggy and code accordingly.

2.Be careful about using the following code — I’ve only proven that it works, I haven’t tested it.
Lesson: Always test your code.

3.Good code is its own best documentation. As you’re about to add a comment, ask yourself, “How can I improve the code so that this comment isn’t needed?”.
Lesson: Write clear maintainable code.

4.Incorrect documentation is often worse than no documentation.
Lesson: Make sure your documentation really reflects what your code is doing and vice verse.

5.Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.
Lesson: The number of lines of code is irrelevant in measuring software development progress, measure by what the code does and how fast it does it.

6.Just because the standard provides a cliff in front of you, you are not necessarily required to jump off it.
Lesson: Do not blindly follow any standard, understand first.

7.The most important single aspect of software development is to be clear about what you are trying to build.
Lesson: Understand the problem first, then build the solution.

8.Good programmers use their brains, but good guidelines save us having to think out every case.
Lesson: Understand and use software design patterns whenever possible.

9.Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Lesson: No comment.

10.The primary duty of an exception handler is to get the error out of the lap of the programmer and into the surprised face of the user. Provided you keep this cardinal rule in mind, you can’t go far wrong.
Lesson: Apply exception handling liberally across all your programs. :)

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