Things to Remember When Writing Code
This is a work-in-progress list of things to remember when writing code.
Some of them are especially useful if you’re writing code in a team of developers.
Keeping this list in mind will, I believe, make you a better software engineer.
They’re in no particular order.
It’s Not Your Code
- You don’t own the code you write. Don’t get attached.
- If someone comes along and improves it, that’s fine.
- If someone comes along and deletes it that’s even better!
- Own the problems you find in code.
- Own bugs. It doesn’t matter who originally wrote the code.
- Problems and Bugs are opportunities to lean, and to better understand the system. Embrace them.
Get On and Write Some Code
- Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good.
- Code doesn’t have to be prefect first time round. Or second.
- Make you code better over time, until it’s good enough. No more.
- code > documentation > talking
The Only Thing Better than Writing Code is NOT Writing Code
- Look for ways to not write code
- Look for ways to delete code
You’re Bad at Writing Code
- You’re bad at writing code.
- You don’t understand what the code does.
- Your code will fail.
- Write your code, and tests, with this in mind
You’re Even Worse at Remembering Stuff
- script and automate the boring, repetative stuff
- for any codebase that is useful, make setup/run/debug as simple as possible
- think about the next developer who will look at your code, and how they will get up to speed
- the next developer to look at your code may well be future-you
Ask for Help
- Ask people for help. Help others when they come asking.
- Be humble
- Change one thing at a time.
- Come up with a hypothesis, make a change, see if it holds true.