Source code is any collection of computer instructions (possibly with comments) written using some human-readable computer language, usually as text.

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145
votes
31answers
54k views

How do you dive into large code bases?

What tools and techniques do you use for exploring and learning an unknown code base? I am thinking of tools like grep, ctags, unit-tests, functional test, class-diagram generators, call graphs, ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Is code ownership a code smell?

This is something I've been thinking about ever since I read this answer in the controversial programming opinions thread: Your job is to put yourself out of work. When you're writing ...
22
votes
10answers
7k views

Hand over source code to customer

I have made a couple iphone applications for a customer and was asked today to hand over the source code so that they could do the maintenance if this should be required. Until now, no code issues ...
13
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it necessary to write a javadoc comment for EVERY parameter in a method's signature?

One of the devs on my team believes that it is necessary to write a javadoc comment for EVERY parameter in a method's signature. I do not think this is necessary, and in fact I think it can even be ...
9
votes
2answers
872 views

Updating copyright headers each new year just because Jan 1st has passed? [duplicate]

I've seen some projects that - with each new year - start to change all files in their source-tree to update the copyright year. Isn't this just pushing hot air on a level of magnitude? AFAIK: ...
7
votes
3answers
439 views

How do you find your way in deeply nested, interfacey code? [duplicate]

I know most people hate flat and long functions, and hate when code is not full of ISomethings. The problem is that I guess my mind works in different way, and I always have problems with that type ...
64
votes
14answers
11k views

How to prevent code from leaking outside work? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to manage a Closed Source High-Risk Project? I'm working on an institution that has a really strong sense of "possession" - each line of software we write should be ...
26
votes
10answers
17k views

Understanding already existing complex code base [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the most effective way to add functionality to unfamiliar, structurally unsound code? Till now, all I have worked on is with Java projects that I build from scratch ...
33
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any actual case studies on rewrites of software success/failure rates?

I've seen multiple posts about rewrites of applications being bad, people's experiences about it here on Programmers, and an article I've ready by Joel Spolsky on the subject, but no hard evidence or ...
38
votes
14answers
4k views

Do you sign each of your source files with your name? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you keep track of the authors of code? One of my colleagues is in the habit of putting his name and email address in the head of each source file he works on, as ...
25
votes
12answers
3k views

How do people manage to write and maintain extremely complex and hard to read code? [closed]

Reading SQLite source code is IMO mission impossible. Yet it is a usable piece of quite complex software (it's a full-blown embedded database after all) that can be downloaded, compiled and used from ...
22
votes
16answers
3k views

How do you go about understanding others' code? [duplicate]

What do you do to understand some code that you didn't write? Or code that you wrote long time ago and don't remember what it does anymore. Do you have some technique that you go about? Do you ...
12
votes
5answers
978 views

Time required to start coding at a new company [closed]

I am a software engineer for 4 years, and I just changed my company for the first time. Company works with pair programming, and it's been 3 days, I couldn't even write a single line of code. It's so ...
9
votes
11answers
2k views

Version control comments - past or present tense [closed]

For version control comments what do other users do/recommend - past or present tense? I.e. Changed x to be y. or Changing x to be y.
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Is Googling every code a bad practice? [duplicate]

I just came from an interview in which they asked me several questions about programming and problem solving. Regarding the programming questions, I asked them to let me Google so I can see the code (...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

How to show code samples in an interview? [closed]

There have been questions similar to this, but my question is HOW exactly do you showcase your code when going to an interview? Do you show screenshots, or do you bring the actual code? Do you take ...
83
votes
17answers
4k views

How do you cope with ugly code that you wrote? [closed]

So your client asks you to write some code, so you do. He then changes the specs on you, as expected, and you diligently implement his new features like a good little lad. Except... the new features ...
26
votes
4answers
12k views

Classes naming: singular or plural? [closed]

It is always difficult for me to choose between singular and plural forms for classes names: CustomerRepository vs. CustomersRepository CustomerService vs. CustomersService CustomerController vs. ...
61
votes
10answers
13k views

When is code “legacy”? [closed]

We've all done it, we've labelled some code (often stuff we've inherited) as "legacy"? But it's still used in the production systems - so is it really legacy? And what makes it legacy? Should we shy ...
26
votes
14answers
8k views

Dealing with profanity in source code [closed]

How do people deal with profanity in source code and VCS comments. Keep or delete? What about soft-expletives like WTF or Arrgggh? Is unprofessional, offensive or something to be shrugged off?
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Development Approach: User Interface In or Domain Model Out?

While I've never delivered anything using Smalltalk, my brief time playing with it has definitely left its mark. The only way to describe the experience is MVC the way it was meant to be. ...
18
votes
11answers
2k views

“// …” comments at end of code block after } - good or bad? [closed]

I've often seen such comments be used: function foo() { ... } // foo while (...) { ... } // while if (...) { ... } // if and sometimes even as far as if (condition) { ... } // if (...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

How-to convince company to start documenting for legacy software [duplicate]

It has been less than a year since I joined my current company. Their majority of sales have come from a single product that has been alive since the last 10 years. However, there is minimal (if at ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Must source code released under GPL be human-readable?

In a response to another question, a poster suggested that under the GPL: ...you need to provide the human readable [code], not a whitespace stripped version... Readability would seem to me to ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Do I have to make source code open, if I use GPLv2 licensed software to derive data

I'm working on a calendar project, on my own. In this project I've to use Swiss Ephemeris. It is licensed under GPLv2 and commercial. With commercial version of license, developers entitled to ...
2
votes
2answers
372 views

Writing/discussions about the aesthetics of code? [closed]

I'm looking for considerations of the questions "Can code be beautiful?" and "What makes code beautiful?" Examples would include: This academic paper: Obfuscation, Weird Languages, and Code ...
10
votes
7answers
4k views

Freelancing - Share the source code? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Hand over source code to customer I have developed a couple of form based windows application in vb.net for a client and they all work well and he paid me through a ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Quantifying the price for source code and software product

I'm about to undertake a project. This requires me to write code, and tons of it. The client's requirement is to hand in all source code at the end of the project. My question is: How do I quantify ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

GPL Confusion! Can I sell a product with GPL covered components without making the source available?

I'm really confused.. I'm looking into making a commercial program and there are a few open source, GPL covered components i'd like to use.. Am I allowed to sell my product with the components in ...
3
votes
2answers
346 views

Is there a name for being able to quickly find the relevant code? [closed]

I notice that a property of codebases that I like hacking on is that it's quick to find the relevant code for some feature, without knowing much about the code base at all. For example, searching for ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

Architecture: API with slightly different behavior depending on the logged-in user roles

How should I structure a piece of code that executes an operation, but may have slightly different behavior depending on, let's say, user roles? Example: My app has a 'manager' and a 'employee' roles....