[thelist] programming info

Jose Hurtado jlhurtado at gmail.com
Fri Apr 21 14:16:52 CDT 2006


Man... you made me laugh!  How true and yet so funny!

<SNIP from Ian's post>
I used to compare coding with being slapped in the face repeatedly with
a large, wet fish.
Do a bit - test - SLAP!
Bugger. Fix bug.
Test - SLAP!
Sod it. Fix bug.
Do a bit - test - SLAP!

Programming IS NOT for the faint of heart... but is really good when you
ENJOY IT.  If you find it a drag and a nightmare, go and do something else!

I would add four characteristics of any great programmer to your suggestion
of consistency and re-use, which I would actually rename, "Learn and Use
Best Practices", so the other four for me are:

1. A sense of humor...  so that he get discouraged or jump ship, but laughs
at the whole mess, while at the same time, after some seconds, minutes or
more, go back at it, and beat the .... out of the problem.
2. Perseverence.  No, not patience, patience is not enough.  A great
programmer must persever, must see his job as doable and worthy, no matter
how boring it feels sometimes... the "high" of the triumph only comes to
those who pull it off, and persevere.
3. Mastery of your tools.  Just being good enough in Java, PHP or ASP is not
enough.  You must try to master the subject, the language, the solution
space... only then you will enjoy more peace and be way more effective than
anyone, anywhere.  Study after study shows that the difference in
productivity is huge when the right programmer uses the right tools,
whatever those are for him!
4. Enjoy IT.  Have some passion about it, enjoy it, make it fun... that's
precisely the way the whole Open Source movement originated... that is I
would argue the very heart of a true hacker, he enjoys his craft, every day!

The only bad thing here is that in the corporate world you do not choose
your tools, they are chosen for you.  Still, try to master them!  and even
enjoy them!  But if you can choose your tools, for goodness sake, choose the
best possible ones!  In the web development space I like a lot the scripting
languages like Python and Ruby, precisely because they are easier to master
and very powerful : )

Best Regards,

Jose L. Hurtado
Web Designer / IT Professional
Toronto, Canada

More information about the thelist mailing list