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Programming Businesses Education Software Technology

Real World Code Sucks 292

Posted by Soulskill
from the so-does-real-world-math-and-real-world-cooking dept.
An anonymous reader tips an article at El Reg about the disparity between the code you learn at school and the code you see at work. Quoting: "There is a kind of cognitive dissonance in most people who've moved from the academic study of computer science to a job as a real-world software developer. The conflict lies in the fact that, whereas nearly every sample program in every textbook is a perfect and well-thought-out specimen, virtually no software out in the wild is, and this is rarely acknowledged. To be precise: a tremendous amount of source code written for real applications is not merely less perfect than the simple examples seen in school — it's outright terrible by any number of measures."
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Real World Code Sucks

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  • Yeah, they're right about the state of things, but they get the "why" part totally fucking wrong:

    The most common reason for the existence of bad software is bad programmers.

    NOPE! Bad software is a result of BAD Code, even good programmers can write bad code...

    At the other end of the spectrum, many projects are sabotaged by developers who are “too good”

    NOPE! Maybe those scare quotes are there for a reason, but "doing things the most complex way possible" is usually because coding is iterative and there was no way for you to know of the unforeseeable future requirements.

    And then there’s “bad” laziness, the kind that leads programmers to cut corners or do things in the quickest possible way, rather than taking the three extra hours to do them right.

    NOPE! You're assuming that the programmer WANTED to do things the quickest way possible...

    If the system is working, almost no manager will pay just to have you recode a piece of it “the right way,” without adding any new functionality. There’s always something more important that needs to be done—until that quick-and-dirty fix blows up and (because it’s urgent) gets replaced by another quick-and-dirty fix.

    BINGO! This. Everything, all of the other bullshit is due to Management. Not just not paying to have things done right (see: Fast, Good, Cheap), but also unrealistic schedules and deadlines, new features being promised by sales without consulting the programmers, etc. Deadlines exist. That's why even a good programmer hacks in a kludge ridden short cut instead of taking the time to do it the right way: There is no time to take! The most common reason for bad software isn't bad programmers, is bad management and terrible working conditions. See also: Getting what you pay for when you outsource the programming department. The outsourced workers will get it done cheaper in less time -- Cheap, FAST -- What's missing here, eh? GOOD Sadly to compete with the fast and cheap the goodness of the software must be sacrificed.

    As mentioned above, C++, despite its superficial similarities to Java, is infinitely easier than Java to write impenetrable code in. And one language I’ve been warned about, though I’ve never had the opportunity to use it, is Haskell, an offshoot of ML. According to a friend in academia who’s studied it, it’s “the Taliban version of ML,” in which it’s all but impossible to write readable code.

    Just stop talking noob.

    In the real world, tight budgets, shortsighted managers, and unreasonable expectations from non-techies almost always conspire to make developers do things too quickly.

    You mention this and yet you somehow fail to realize THIS, not Languages, not Laziness, not Ignorance, not Hubris, is what is really the root cause of all the damn evil?! Fuck you, man. You're part of the problem.

    In conclusion: Bad software is primarily a result of GREED.

  • by LDAPMAN (930041) on Friday December 21, 2012 @06:34PM (#42365503)

    Wrong. My Benz has 11 airbags. My Fordrd does not. My Benz has massive brakes that can bring me to a stop in 1/3 less distance. The list goes on and validates the previous posters point.

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