Saturday 1 January 2011

Clean coders are pragmatists

Every now and again, developers are faced with the choice between "doing things the right way" and "just getting it working". Those who attempt to maintain their professional standards under pressure are occasionally caricatured as idealists, clinging to a quaint notion of purity at the project's expense.

The clean way is the pragmatic way almost every time. To compromise code hygiene for expediency is to believe in a world where that doesn't catch up with you. Dirty coders have an incredibly naive and demonstrably false idea of what poor quality craftsmanship does to an application over time.

I've written dirty code. I've gambled on everything going right just this once. But rarely have I not regretted it.