Programming Practices are the commonly or not so commonly used practices in development of software. These can include things like Agile Development, Kanban, Coding shortcuts, etc.

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247
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Why are shortcuts like x += y considered good practice?

I have no idea what these are actually called, but I see them all the time. The Python implementation is something like: x += 5 as a shorthand notation for x = x + 5. But why is this considered good ...
204
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16answers
15k views

Started wrong with a project. Should I start over?

I'm a beginner web developer (one year of experience). A couple of weeks after graduating, I got offered a job to build a web application for a company whose owner is not much of a tech guy. He ...
185
votes
16answers
31k views

What's wrong with comments that explain complex code?

A lot of people claim that "comments should explain 'why', but not 'how'". Others say that "code should be self-documenting" and comments should be scarce. Robert C. Martin claims that (rephrased to ...
170
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17answers
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How would you know if you've written readable and easily maintainable code?

How would one know if the code one has created is easily readable, understandable, and maintainable? Of course from the author's point of view the code is readable and maintainable, because the author ...
168
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17answers
10k views

How do you balance between “do it right” and “do it ASAP” in your daily work? [closed]

I find myself pondering over this question from time to time, again and again. I want to do things the right way: to write clean, understandable and correct code that is easy to maintain. However, ...
161
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17answers
14k views

Is there a benefit in compiling your code as you go along?

I recently had a job interview in which they gave me an hour to write some real code. It wasn't a huge amount, probably less than 100 lines. After about 45 minutes, I compiled, ran it, and got it to ...
146
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13answers
35k views

Should we avoid object creation in Java?

I was told by a colleague that in Java object creation is the most expensive operation you could perform. So I can only conclude to create as few objects as possible. This seems somewhat to defeat ...
106
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18answers
9k views

Can a function be too short?

Whenever I find myself writing the same logic more than once, I usually stick it in a function so there is only one place in my application I have to maintain that logic. A side effect is that I ...
91
votes
5answers
33k views

Choosing between Single or multiple projects in a git repository?

In a git environment, where we have modularized most projects, we're facing the one project per repository or multiple projects per repository design issue. Let's consider a modularized project: ...
82
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12answers
7k views

How big does my project need to be for me to unit test it? [closed]

I assume that my project is decoupled enough to allow for unit testing. But how big, exactly, in terms of clases and functions does my project need to be to make unit testing worthwhile? We all make ...
80
votes
17answers
5k views

Are my negative internship experiences representative of the real world? [closed]

I'm curious if my current experiences as an intern are representative of actual industry. As background, I'm through the better part of two computing majors and a math major at a major university; ...
80
votes
22answers
52k views

Automatic programming: write code that writes code [closed]

After reading the book The Pragmatic Programmer, one of the arguments I found most interesting was "write code that writes code". I tried searching over the net for some more explanations or articles ...
79
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10answers
21k views

Why do most of us use 'i' as a loop counter variable?

Has anyone thought about why so many of us repeat this same pattern using the same variable names? for (int i = 0; i < foo; i++) { // ... } It seems most code I've ever looked at uses i, j, ...
77
votes
14answers
9k views

Is my mentor's concern for code quality excessive? [closed]

To tell you a little about myself: I'm a newbie programmer working internships and learning a lot from experienced programmers. I can't believe I used to think I was good in college. The one I'm ...
77
votes
18answers
22k views

How to visualize code? [closed]

I've mostly only had to read my own code. As such, I've had no need to visualize the code as I already know how each and every class and module communicate with one another. But the few times I've ...
75
votes
12answers
7k views

Does programming in general become easier to read, write and understand as you gain experience?

I'm a beginner in programming and I've been reading books, studying, reading articles, and whatnot. I'm getting great results since I've started learning programming, and when I was a beginner I used ...
75
votes
7answers
7k views

Short circuit evaluation, is it bad practice?

Something that I've known for a while but never considered is that in most languages it is possible to give priority to operators in an if statement based on their order. I often use this as a way to ...
74
votes
9answers
9k views

Over thinking development

I've been working as an app developer for a year and a half now (not long I know), and I've just been given my first big project. Needless to say it didn't go very smoothly, so I sought advice from a ...
74
votes
8answers
8k views

Is it okay to not completely understand code functionality? [duplicate]

As I am currently struggling with learning WCF for a project at work, for the past several days I have been looking at online tutorials and examples on the best way to make a WCF client; and today, ...
66
votes
5answers
51k views

Two HTML elements with same id attribute: How bad is it really?

Just browsing the google maps source code. In their header, they have 2 divs with id="search" one contains the other, and also has jstrack="1" attribute. There is a form separating them like so: ...
61
votes
17answers
6k views

How to train yourself to avoid writing “clever” code?

Do you know that feeling when you just need to show off that new trick with Expressions or generalize three different procedures? This does not have to be on Architecture Astronaut scale and in fact ...
57
votes
11answers
6k views

Is it a bad practice to modify code strictly for testing purposes

I have a debate with a programmer colleague about whether it is a good or bad practice to modify a working piece of code only to make it testable (via unit tests for example). My opinion is that it ...
56
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22answers
4k views

Why do some programmers think there is a contrast between theory and practice? [closed]

Comparing software engineering with civil engineering, I was surprised to observe a different way of thinking: any civil engineer knows that if you want to build a small hut in the garden you can just ...
55
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17answers
4k views

Alternatives to Professional Version Control [closed]

We're teaming up with some non programmers (writers) who need to contribute to one of our projects. Now they just don't like the idea of using Git (or anything for that matter) for version ...
55
votes
7answers
5k views

Code First vs. Database First

When I design and create the software I work on, I typically design and create the back-end SQL tables first and then move on to the actual programming. The project I'm currently working on has me ...
54
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17answers
4k views

How to deal with tautology in comments?

Sometimes I find myself in situations when the part of code that I am writing is (or seems to be) so self-evident that its name would be basically repeated as a comment: class Example { /// ...
53
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11answers
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What kind of problems does MapReduce solve?

I have been reading about MapReduce for a while -- but what I can't understand is how someone would make a decision to use (or not use) MapReduce. I mean, what are the problem patterns that signal ...
51
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11answers
5k views

How do I avoid cascading refactorings?

I've got a project. In this project I wished to refactor it to add a feature, and I refactored the project to add the feature. The problem is that when I was done, it turned out that I needed to make ...
49
votes
8answers
7k views

Is it good that testers are competing to see who opens more bugs?

I'm a software developer. There is a team of testers who follow and run test cases written by the analyst, but also perform exploratory testing. It seems like the testers have been competing to see ...
48
votes
16answers
4k views

Should I take care of race conditions which almost certainly has no chance of occuring?

Let's consider something like a GUI application where main thread is updating the UI almost instantaneously, and some other thread is polling data over the network or something that is guaranteed to ...
46
votes
14answers
7k views

Differences between programming in school vs programming in industry? [closed]

A lot of students when they graduate and get their first job, feel like they don't really know how to program even though they may have been good programmers in college. What are some of the ...
45
votes
6answers
26k views

Method vs Function vs Procedure

Simple question, but I often hear these three terms defined with such ferocity, but which have been known to me to mean different things over the years. What are the "correct" definitions of ...
44
votes
14answers
6k views

Are there problems with using Reflection?

I don't know why, but I always feel like I am "cheating" when I use reflection - maybe it is because of the performance hit I know I am taking. Part of me says, if it is part of the language you are ...
44
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2answers
26k views

Git branching and tagging best practices

I am currently learning to use Git by reading Pro Git. Right now I'm learning about branching and tags. My question is when should I use a branch and when should I use a tag? For example, say I ...
42
votes
6answers
3k views

Is making a small change, testing it, then “rinse and repeat”, a bad habit?

I am a programmer with a number of years of experience. I realized I got a certain habit. I'm not sure whether it's really a bad habit or not. I get a list of tasks to perform for a solution, even ...
42
votes
17answers
4k views

Best practice on if/return

I want to know what is considered better way of returning when I have if statement. Example 1: public bool MyFunction() { // Get some string for this example string myString = GetString(); ...
41
votes
10answers
2k views

Is it a good idea to schedule regular time to clean up code? [closed]

I'm managing a small team of developers. Every so often we decide we're going to spend a day or two to clean up our code. Would it be a good idea to schedule regular time, say 1 week every 2 months, ...
40
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10answers
4k views

Why are exceptions considered better than explicit error testing? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Defensive Programming vs Exception Handling? if/else statements or exceptions I often come across heated blog posts where the author uses the argument: "exceptions vs ...
39
votes
10answers
6k views

Is writing software in the absence of requirements a skill to possess or a situation I should avoid?

I find that some software developers are very adept at this, and often times are praised for their ability to deliver a working concept with abstract requirements. Frankly, this drives me crazy, and I ...
39
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7answers
2k views

How can I get my progress reviewed as a solo junior developer [closed]

I am currently working for a 2 person company, as the solo primary developer. My boss gets the clients, mocks up some png design templates and hands them over to me. This system has been working fine ...
38
votes
12answers
5k views

Unwritten rules of rewriting another team member's code

We are practicing collective code ownership. To my understanding this means that any developer can change any line of code to add functionality, to refactor, fix bugs or improve designs. But what ...
38
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do programmers use `Acme` as a package, namespace or directory name

This may or may not be a silly question, but I really would like to know the answer to something which has been bothering me for a while. I quite often see programming examples/conventions where the ...
38
votes
11answers
3k views

Is it bad habit not using interfaces? [closed]

I use interfaces rarely and find them common in others code. Also I create sub and super classes (while creating my own classes) rarely in my code. Is it a bad thing? Would you suggest changing ...
37
votes
14answers
7k views

Is programming or computer science in general, all about algorithms?

As a grad student, I find it more and more common for prestigious companies (like Google, Facebook, Microsoft,...) to put algorithm questions in their test and interviews. A few startups I applied to ...
37
votes
8answers
12k views

MVC Architecture — How many Controllers do I need?

I have been coding for a while, but mostly scripts and simple applications. I've moved into a new role where it is all about developing Web Apps and using a proper MVC architecture, so I am ...
36
votes
9answers
5k views

Is creating subclasses for specific instances a bad practice?

Consider the following design public class Person { public virtual string Name { get; } public Person (string name) { this.Name = name; } } public class Karl : Person { ...
36
votes
8answers
2k views

What is the term for a really BIG source code commit?

Sometimes when we check the commit history of a software, we may see that there are a few commits that are really BIG - they may change 10 or 20 files with hundreds of changed source code lines ...
36
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12answers
20k views

Must a programmer learn text editors like Emacs and Vim? How important are they? [duplicate]

I have been writing code so far in conventional text editors that come with the OS so far or use an IDE in some cases. I know there are some advanced text editors like Emacs and Vim available solely ...
36
votes
4answers
3k views

Can too much abstraction be bad?

As programmers I feel that our goal is to provide good abstractions on the given domain model and business logic. But where should this abstraction stop? How to make the trade-off between abstraction ...
36
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8answers
3k views

Is OOP becoming easier or harder? [closed]

When the concepts of Object Oriented Programming were introduced to programmers years back it looks interesting and programming was cleaner. OOP was like this Stock stock = new Stock(); ...