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Does working with good code make you a better developer or does it make you soft and reluctant to work with anything less than quality code?

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7 Answers 7

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I would consider a natural reluctance to work with bad code to be an asset. If you have that, it probably means:

  • You can spot bad code
  • You are motivated to fix bad code rather than perpetuate the vicious work-around cycle
  • You have a clear understanding of what it would take to make a heap of bad code into good code, and can 'choose your battles' accordingly.

Soft is probably a bad word. Frustrated might be a better description.

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Better. It puts the good code ways in your subconscious, thereby influencing your future coding.

The way the Treasure department trains its agents to find bad money, is to have them study good money. Then it's easy for them to spot anything different.

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reluctant to work with anything less than quality code?

Is a very good thing and not soft at all in fact it's exactly the opposite. The soft or easy option is being satisfied with poor code. The hard option is always striving for quality code.

Being exposed to good code can only be beneficial.

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From my own experience, working with a good code lets you learn things, extend the existing good code with your own and feel happy. Working with a bad code may make you feel anger, frustration and apathy.

If it's not, think again whether you consider yourself a good programmer...

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The more you work with good code, the more it will rub off on you. Therefore, causing you to be a more efficient programmer.

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Isn't it in the human race to strive for excellence? To push the boundaries? To settle for nothing less but the very best? Why should code be any different?

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Not in everyone it seems. My colleague strives for bad code and refuses even to read good code, gets angry when I try to show him some. Writing good code is unthinkable for him. I still can't figure out why he acts that way. –  Matteo Mosca Oct 22 '10 at 10:02

How long can you keep the code good?

If you can maintain quality over a significant period of time, including changes to functionality, by frequent refactoring, you must certainly have developed a high level of skill.

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