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MatthewDiaz

Programming Philosophies

5 posts in this topic

I know it may seem to be a funny subject but it is something I have thought about off and on and I just wanted to share my thoughts. In many ways I find that programming is an art form. Many people have their own style and tend to solve solutions to problems in programming in their own way. I find myself choosing what is simple over what is complex and efficient if I can afford it performance wise. I also tend to be unorthodox in how I solve problems, but maybe that is because I am quite the eccentric person. I mean wouldn't you agree that a person's personality can actually be mirrored in their code? Wouldn't a very organized and methodical person tend to have very organized code and easy to follow code? Wouldn't an imaginative person tend to have code that comes together in unorthodox but interesting ways? I know this may all seem pointless to some of you, but I like to dwell on things like this. If you don't that's cool, but if you have something to share on the subject I would love to hear it.
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I feel code is an art form. Most seem to disagree.

I also believe code reflects the author in a few ways, but not all, since our early years of coding are more heavily influenced by the sources from which we learned than by our own personal traits.

My code reflects my perfectionistic nature and attention to detail. This is a trait that most defines who and what I am, and shows in everything I do, from [url="http://l-spiro.deviantart.com/gallery/4844241"]my art[/url] to every sentence I type, including those on forums.
In my code, this is reflected by how strictly I adhere to certain guidelines I have established during my life-long growing process as a programmer.
For example, I have defined a subset of them here: http://lspiroengine.com/?p=126
The thing that reflects my nature is not that I defined them (though that partly does reflect my nature) but how strict I am at following them, and how much detail there actually is in my [i]real[/i] guidelines. That is, if I had attempted to list my whole set of guidelines, the article there would be at least 5 times longer, and would include a specific number of blank lines following the list of #include’s and preceding the [i]namespace lse {[/i].

I have specified a rule for every tiny piece of code one could ever imagine writing, and I adhere to these rules so strictly that the CEO of my company has called me “sick”. Others have used the word “robot”.


Such is my nature. I live through attention to detail.
Similarly, you will now notice that my guidelines for posting on forums and send e-mails dictates that my manually typed signature will follow every post, and prior to my signature will be 2 blank lines. Never more and never less. Feel free to fact-check this on any post you can find since I joined back in 2003.


L. Spiro
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[quote name='ILoveJesus' timestamp='1322622700' post='4888957']
I mean wouldn't you agree that a person's personality can actually be mirrored in their code?
[/quote]

Usually. I know a guy who's a complete spaz, but his code doesn't reflect that (though his haphazard check-ins do). Maybe it's because getting in the zone alleviates the spaz-iness, who knows... At the very least, people will have their own 'look' to their code like artists tend to have their own look that evolves over time.

[quote]
Wouldn't a very organized and methodical person tend to have very organized code and easy to follow code?
[/quote]

Methodical code isn't necessarily well organized, and even well organized/regimented code isn't necessarily easy to follow architecturally or intuitively or due to well formed but poorly named code. One of my coworkers has some heavy OCD and combats that with highly regimented code. Unfortunately, he kinda thinks like an alien so the code, while being built out in a nice structured pattern is hard to follow because nobody thinks the same way.


Personally, I count on my code to follow certain patterns. It means I can forget about code, and can infer where things are, or how I would've solved a problem without needing to remember the details of all that old code.
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I think the way of programming can be considered an art too, but we shouldn't forget that there are some rules to follow as well.
Today i was speaking with a coleague that was complaining that is not possible to write scriptlets inside a facelet. (Facelets are the presentation layer of Java Enterprise Edition). Well, that could sound as creativity, but mixing presentation layer with control layer is quite confusing, but in the end if you have to make some manteinance in some of that thing, then you will need double time to fix code. Well, i got back at my desk and i said "Never deal with programming philosophies!", in some way in life you need to deal with people and I cannot force anybody to follow my street.
In some way i would like to raise the power of this thread:

"Do you need good social skills in order to be a good programmer?"

:)
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It depends where you work at and what you're working on. When working on amateur games in your basement, it is. And it probably is in many programming jobs as well, but...

If you work on software for flight systems, army-related projects, or any other class of software where a fault, (or even a lag) could have a catastrophic outcome, then all the hard rules of software engineering (ISO20000, ISO14764, IEEE1222, SWEBOK, etc.) kick in and you don't really have a lot of margin to solve the issues, you do what the engineers tell you to do, how they tell you to, and by respecting herculean programming rules. Since your "freedom to create" is near-zero in those cases, I think programming is hardly an art when working on those particular types of project. Unless YOU are the engineer, I guess.
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[quote name='m3rlino' timestamp='1322685256' post='4889187']
"Do you need good social skills in order to be a good programmer?"[/quote]
No, clearly not. I know one or two truly brilliant programmers who can't hold a conversation to save their life.

However, you probably need good social skills if you wish to have a [b]career[/b] in programming.
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