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Writing code

Is writing code the greatest thing? No. I think, it is writing less code that makes software great. has been running a series called The Art of Software Development. It is a bit too much along the theoretical lines - requirements, analysis, design, specs, code, test and rollout. Personally, I believe that this kind of development can only be done for big projects and customers having deep pockets - a breed that is dwindling by the day. I’m lot more in favor of having prototypes that will replace mega documents for requirements, analysis and design; and then working with customers to adapt it before making the cut from prototype to production installment.

From the fourth installment, “Writing code is only half the battle - the other half involves testing it.”

I’ve a different take on this. Writing code is just a quarter of the battle. More important is to figure out what not to write. Every single line of code that is written adds that much more to maintain and makes it that much more prone to bugs. Zero defect software is a myth - realize it early or perish. How much ever you test your software, assume that there will be bugs. If not bugs, there will be change requests. So, you need to keep in mind whether each line of you write is going to break something else.

I had seen view points about using LOC (lines of code) as a measure of programmer productivity. More lines you type, more productive you are. This drives me nuts. If I’m paying for a programmer, if s/he can maximize the features:LOC ratio by reducing LOC, that is what will add value to me.

  1. Yes, half of software development is writing code and half is testing. Oh and half is designing, half redesigning, and half maintaining it.

    No wonder software projects take so long!

    Posted by: Howard Hansen on November 15, 2002 01:36 PM