Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Lazy Coder != A Good Coder

Recently, a co-worker recently shared a quote with the group:
working as a programmer is the 1st time in history where lazy people (w.o. connections or personal wealth) get payed well to be even more lazy
I take issue with this on a number of levels, but mainly that this seems to be a common theme in the programming world, that a lazy programmer is akin to a good programmer. This can't be further from the truth.

A lazy programmer:

  • takes harmful shortcuts and hacks his features into production code
  • doesn't take the time to think about how his module will behave in the context of the larger system
  • writes poor (or no) unit tests
  • doesn't care to understand how the API he is using works
  • cuts and pastes code
  • uses global variables
I definitely would not want to have a lazy programmer on my team, or contributing in any way to my codebase.

What I think people must mean (hopefully!) is that a good programmer automates when he can. A good programmer is conscientious, meticulous, and thorough.