I am working on a fairly large and buggy application - and due to the way it's written (I'll spare you details, but it violates rules in most areas you can think of), it is next to impossible developing it without major refactoring.
Significant part of the app was authored by interns, n00bs etc.; but there has also been a programmer in the rank of Master Developer, and with all humility, the code he left behind is dubious as well, in a different way perhaps but still.
Granted, his code tends to get the job done - most of the time - but it's typically cryptic, reinventing the wheel (eg. a big custom method accomplishing a rather ordinary SQL db backup) etc. Basically, needless confusion plus lots of overengineering
And it got me thinking that being a highly skilled coder (I deliberately don't use the word "developer", assuming that it indicates a wider set of skills), if not accompanied by other qualities, can actually be sort of poisonous.
Assuming that it's true, some of the reasons I could think of are:
- if you're coding with ease, it feels (or actually is, in short run) just quicker to snap out your own solutions on the spot, without turning to libraries, preexistent functionality etc.
- if one is experienced enough to easily maintain a mental image of a complex program, one is less inclined to split it into modules, layers etc.
So my point is that if a fluent coder happens to be a bad developer, their fluency not only doesn't compensate for the latter, but it actually does even more harm instead.
What do you think of that? Is it true (to what extent if so)?