Recent Representative Line

A single line of code from a large application that somehow manages to provide an almost endless insight into the pain that its maintainers face each day.

Apr 2020

All the Small Things

by in Representative Line on

Kerry (previously) has a long held belief: people that can’t get the little things right have no hope of getting the big things right, and not just when it comes to software.

Personally, I don’t think that’s truly universal, but it’s certainly a good guideline. If nothing else, seeing certain simple mistakes gives you a hint of worse things to come. Like this interface definition:

The Standard StringBuilder

by in Representative Line on

At a previous job, I became "The Code Review Guy". It was a big company, with a lot of bureaucracy. They were transitioning from VB6 to VB.NET and didn't trust developers to adapt to this new world, so they positioned code reviews as a "gateway" and the reviewers were guards, tasked with ensuring that any code going past met the standards.

That was already a pretty bad, and pretty hostile approach. Then some code would get submitted which didn't just violate the standards, but was barely comprehensible nonsense which followed no coherent convention and couldn't be tested let alone debugged. But it was mission critical and had a scheduled release date already, so the code review process had to let it pass. "Just make some notes, and they'll fix it in a future release," was the attitude. You can imagine how much of that code got fixed.