Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It takes more programming skill to...

fix someone else's application than to write one from scratch.  At the same time, looking at another developers application will expand your own skill set.  Here is what I mean.  When you stick to your own applications, you tend to stick to what you know.  Your first loop may have been using a counter and GetNthDocument.  Who knew about getfirst - getnext?  And if you looked at some of my later code, the initialize routine only had one line -

Call Main.

(while it might look efficient, it was mostly because only a new subroutine would get the code block that had all my dims in it.)

Looking at other applications will not just show you bad ways of doing things, but other ways of doing things.  When you find an application where everything is defined globally, you begin to appreciate why this is a bad idea.  Trying to understand why the previous developer did things the way they did requires a deeper understanding of coding practices than just writing something from scratch.

So, while Chief Architect may be an alluring title, don't be afraid to take on a less glamorous project involving 'continuing engineering' (my first job title out of college by the way).

And for a limited time, I am available to review your applications without any corporate overhead.  So, drop me a note if you want to take me up on this.

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