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  1. In Topic: Talking about bad code

    Posted 31 Aug 2013

    View Postbaavgai, on 31 August 2013 - 05:26 AM, said:

    View PostAhhmyface, on 29 August 2013 - 02:17 PM, said:

    If it works, management is happy and we move on.

    This. In a nut shell.

    From a non programmer's perspective, this is the only metric. Most companies tend to think in the short term. Get to the next milestone, even if that means you've screwed yourself for some future milestone. This cycle, this quarter, this fiscal whatever, is the only thing that matters to some levels of management.

    The benefits of doing it "right" are primarily long term benefits. Doing it right involves spending more time initially, in all aspects. A long design phase where nothing seems to happen can result in code produced more quickly after that phase, but can seem slower. Code that took longer to produce will take less time maintaining.

    Indeed, the benefit of well designed code is abstract, in that it offers fewer problems; problems that never happen. A bug patch on clean code can take an hour, the same patch on crap could take weeks. But, from a management perspective, it takes what it takes. It's unclear that the prior decisions to get it out the door cost so much later.

    What to do? Emphasize where the benefits of doing it right come from. Not in the development phase, but in testing and release. Fewer problems from the code in the wild. Quicker turn around on problems. Higher user satisfaction. If you can find in house examples, even better.

    Code Complete by Steve McConnell, if you haven't read it, should give you some ammunition for your arguments.

    I read the reviews of that book and it seems to be exactly what I need. If I can point to a reputable source and demonstrate we are violating good practice it will be much easier to convince people. It will also help me verbalize the things I already know so that they actually show up on managements radar. I ordered a copy from amazon. Thanks!

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