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Apr 14


Coding Philosophy Interview

Ars Technica interview with the author of Coders.

Ars Technica recently did an interview of the author of Coders, article can be found here. In the interview, one of the more interesting quotes was:

People who are writing code are speaking. They're speaking to a machine, but they're speaking

This provoked a bit of commentary from the readership, mostly software engineers. The main point in the commentary was that we are speaking to machines but also to the next people that take on the code to maintain it. I used to use the expresssion, “Coding yourself out of a job”. This expression is the code should be so readable without documentation and simple enough that anyone can understand it.

Keeping things simple in software engineering is one of the hardest things to accomplish. Its only accomplished through reworking our code and thinking about how another person could understand it.

Some of the best quotes from the commentary on the interview are:

“Always code as if the person who ends up maintaining your code is a violent psychopath who knows where you live.” - federico_cba

“Programs are meant to be read by humans and only incidentally for computers to execute.” - Donald Knuth

“Not sure I like the idea of being stereotyped. Now, instead of not knowing what I do, the readers of this book will expect that I do certain things and wonder why I don’t. We are not all the same.” - anachronon

“Why do all of the visible people in the lead photo have external keyboards and mice? You’d think the whole point of a laptop would be to not need that kind of setup…” - Ulf

What are your thoughts?

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