Jul 19, 2005
A bit of thought that hit my wetware. Learning a programming language really is like learning a spoken language. I'm working on a bit of code that someone else wrote, and unfortunately, it sucks. To be honest, it sucks alot. My brain ran off on a bit of a tangent and started thinking about code styles and design and optimization and readability. The problem is, most people when they code are at the cut and paste level. I want to print out Foo on the screen, so I'll copypaste this line that says print 'Hello world'; and then just change 'Hello World' to 'foo'. And voila, I have it printing. That's great, if you want to run around with a phrase book all your life coding things like 'Ou est la salle de bain?' You need to understand the language, or else your speech is going to be broken and nonsensible. It's obvious when someone isn't fluent in a spoken language, and it's equally obvious when someone isn't fluent in a programming language. Choose your goal, then write the code to reach your goal. Don't find code to reach your goal. Subtle difference. Important difference.