The Religious Zealotry of Coding Best Practice

Looking across the different cultures of software houses, I’d say there are roughly three camps:

1. The Hack-Attack

The fast food merchants of code production, these guys look to get it out ASAP. Do the least possible work to get the sign-off from the customer, to get a product installed that does what it’s meant to do … for the most part at least.

I actually respect these guys – you can laugh at the quality of their work, but like a fast food outlet technically gets the job done (fills the stomach), these coders are incredibly efficient. In terms of bang-for-buck, they are often remarkably cost effective.

It’s fairly easy to understand the problems with this approach though. Some projects just go wrong. The code is at a level of spaghetti-ness that would impress a native Italian mafia-run dockside restaurant. Typically what happens in these firms is that a fast-build project is also a fast-fix project, so instead of accepting that the code essentially needs some level of re-write, the quickest dirtiest fix is implemented, which often only exasperates the problem. Read more