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. 


Stephen said...

Someone I have a great respect for often said that he was "too lazy to fail." When we talked about it in more detail, what he meant was that he would much rather make small changes to someone else's work and reuse than write a complete system from scratch.

But it's very easy for these statements to be misinterpreted and misapplied as you point out.

Kim Amster said...

Hi Jared - Can you contact me - I have an important opportunity in Boston to discuss - Thank you!