I'm at the QCon conference in London, one that I particularly value for its vendor-neutrality and strong content. Yesterday we heard from Robert Martin, founder of Object Mentor, on the subject of software craftmanship, or how to avoid bad code. One of Martin's points is that having code that works is not enough. He makes an analogy with a machine. It's not enough that your car works; when you open the bonnet you want to see good engineering, not a tangle of pipes, wires and belts that somehow hangs together.
Software is vulnerable to poor craftsmanship because code is often well hidden from customers and end-users. Still, the programmer knows whether they are putting together something that just about works, or crafting something excellent that will be understandable and maintainable long into the future.
Martin's talk turned out to be a practical one. There was nothing really new; but plenty to think about. Here are a few of his tips:
You may not agree with all of these; but I like the underlying objective, which is to code to a high standard rather than just fixing bugs until it runs.
Agree? You can sign the Manifesto for Software Craftsmanship.
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