Out of the blue, I thought another presentation I can make for people starting UNI:
"Things I Learnt the Hard Way in 30 Years of Software Development"
4. Future thinking is future trashing
Solve the problem at hand. Don't think "We can do this in a more general way and, in the future, it will be easier to add more". Adding more will never come and you'll have to deal with a pile of trash.
Solve one problem, then solve the next. A patter of problem will emerge -- or not.
6 3/3. Good languages come with integrated documentation
If the language comes with its own way of documenting functions/classes/modules/whatever and it comes with even the simplest doc generator, you can be sure all the language things and libraries will have a good documentation.
But languages with no integrated documentation will most of the time have bad documentation.
8. A language is much more than a language
A programming language is that thing that you write and make things "go". But it has much more beyond special words: It has a build system, it has a dependency control system, it has a way of making tools/libraries/frameworks interact, it has a community, it has a way of dealing with people.
Don't pick languages just 'cause they easier to use.
11. You're responsible for the use of your code
This is hard. Very very hard. It's the difference between "freedom" and "responsibility".
There is nothing wrong in writing, for example, a software to capture people's faces and detect their ethnicity, but you have to think about what that will be used on.
12. Understand and stay way of cargo cult
"Cargo cult" is the idea that, if someone else did, so can we. Most of the time, cargo cult is simply an "easy way out" of a problem: Why would we think about how to properly store our users if X did that?
"If BigCompany stores data like this, so can we".
"If BigCompany is behind this, this is good."
13. Companies look for specialists but keep generalists longer
If you know a lot about one single language, it may make it easier to get a job, but in the long run, language usage dies and you'll need to find something else. Knowing a bit about a lot of other languages helps in the long run, not to mention that may help you think of better solutions.
"A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming, is not worth knowing." -- Alan Perlis
@juliobiason I am too :)
@juliobiason Much of cargo-culting is:
1. Ignorance of true meaning or mechanism expressed as mimicking a form or pattern.
2. Signalling membership within a specific group or tribe.
3. A response to fear and lack of understanding by management or clients of meaning or mechanism, by mimicking a form or pattern.
There's a strong similarity to this and fads and fashions generally, in an information-theoretic fashion. Not specifically mentioned here, but similar idea:
@juliobiason At the same time I have to argue that you might have to allow for some bad usage in order to get the most good usage out of your software.
So while I don't disagree with having the best, most positive, impact you can, it does worry me for programmers to be blamed for how their software is used.
@alcinnz Had a long discussion with a coworker a few days ago exactly about this.
"This is against free software, isn't it?" and he was right.
But I really feel we should think how our apps can be misused and worry about, instead of focusing on the happy path.
... or maybe it just helps me with my continuous pessimism about software.
@juliobiason There is a path you can take which (depending on who you ask) isn't against free software. It certainly meets the definitions, and some nuance in Stallman's speeches.
If you're worried enough about your software falling into the wrong hands you don't have to publish it publically. In that way you can mostly decide who gets access to your software whilst still giving those people full software freedom over that program.
@riking Kinda agree, 'cause, to me, "this should be multiple functions" count to me as architecture, not style.
The filename thing feel a bit like a gray area, 'cause most languages outside C/C++ that I can remember from the top of my head (Rust and Python) use the filename as module name, so "this is the wrong module" gets really weird if it is a code style or architecture...
@riking " This structure/function should be in that other module" counts like architecture problem, IMHO.
But "This module has the wrong name"... well, if you have a well define code style, then probably yes.
(When I wrote that, I was thinking about lengthy reviews full of "You left a space at the end of the line here".)
@riking ... in which you remind me about another point :)
@riking > I'm talking architecture as in "this program gets data from system X and Z and moves it to system Y" or "we're adding a cache for non-logged-in requests".
Maybe "this should be two functions" is a design problem, then?
I mean, I still don't see as an architecture problem...
(Just trying to find the proper description here, I'm going to compile all points in a blog post later.)
@riking Good point!
@juliobiason This is good shit. Have you considered putting it into a blog post so that people can share a single link?
@starbreaker Well, I didn't, but I'm going to.
@starbreaker ... for now, I'll keep going on here, mostly 'cause I'm going back and forth in the same subject (say, languages); later I can add them in their own subtopics on the post.
@juliobiason this should be a blog post! It's very good!
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