My manager pushes me to use his self defined best practices. All of these practices are based on is own assumptions. I disagree with them and I would like to have some feedback of well experienced people about these practices. I would prefer answers from people involved in the maintenance of huge products and people whom have maintained the product for years. Developers with 15+ years of experience are preferred because my manager has that much experience himself. I have 7 years of experience.
Here are the practices he wants me to use:
never extends classes, use composition and interface instead because extending classes are unmaintainable and difficult to debug.
What I think about that
Extend when needed, respect "Liskov's Substitution Principle" and you'll never be stuck with a problem, but prefer composition and decoration. I don't know any serious project which has banned inheriting, sometimes it's impossible to not use that, i.e. in a UI framework. Design patterns are just unusable.
In PHP, for simple use cases (for example a user needs a web interface to view a database table), his "best practice" is: copy some random php code wich we own, paste and modify it, put html and php code in same file, never use classes in PHP, it doesn't work well for small jobs, and in fact it doesn't work well at all, there is no good tool to work with. Copy & paste PHP code is good practice for maintenance because scripts are independent, if you have a bug somewhere you can fix it without side effects.
What I think about that:
NEVER EVER COPY code or do it because you have five minutes to deliver something, you will do some refactoring after that. Copy & paste code is a beginners error, if you have errors you'll have the error everywhere any time you have pasted it's a nightmare to maintain. If you repsect the "Open Close Principle" you'll rarely get edge effects, use unit test if you are afraid of that. For small jobs in PHP use at least something you get or write the HTML separately from the PHP code and reuse it any time you need it. Classes in PHP are mature, not as mature as other languages like python or java, but they are usable. There is tools to work with classes in PHP like Zend Studio that work very well. The use of classes or not depends not on the language you use but the programming paradigm you have choosen. I'm a OOP developer, I use PHP5, why do I have to shoot myself in the foot?
- When you find a simple bug in the code, and you can fix it simply, if you are not working on the code where you have found it, never fix it, even if it takes 5 seconds.
He says to me his "best practices" are driven by the fact that he has a lot of experience in maintaining software in production (14 years) and he now knows what works and what doesn't work, what the community says is a fad, and the people advocating such principles as never copy & paste code, are not evolved in maintaining applications.
What I think about that:
If you find a bug fix it if you can do it quickly inform the people who've touched that code before, check if you have not introduced a new bug, ideally add a unit test for it.
I currently work on a web commerce project, which serves 15k unique users per day. The code base has to be maintained and has been maintained this way since 2005.
Ideally you include a short description of your position and experience in terms of years effectively maintaining an application which has been in production for real.