Improving Wetware

Because technology is never the issue

Craftsmanship around the web

Posted by Pete McBreen Mon, 30 Jun 2014 03:17:00 GMT

I didn’t see this when it was first written, but it matches with my recent experiences.

… most programmers simply don’t know where the quality bar is. They don’t know what disciplines they should adopt. They don’t know the difference between good and bad code. And, most importantly, they have not learned that writing good clean code in a disciplined manner is the fastest and best way get the job done well. – Robert Martin

Software Craftsmanship depends on developers knowing the craft of coding

Posted by Pete McBreen Thu, 05 Jun 2014 02:47:00 GMT

Many software developers do not seem to understand the basics of our craft. Recently I’ve seen

  • SQL queries that were massively more complex than they needed to be - that when simplified, without any database changes ran more than 10 times faster
  • Client server applications that issue nearly 1000 SQL queries while refreshing what is supposed to be an interactive screen - the end result being that the poor user has to wait 5 to 10 seconds for the screen to refresh after conceptually simple actions
  • Supposedly secure web applications that sent Active Directory usernames and passwords in cleartext across HTTP connections
  • Code that created connections to external resources but forgot to free them - made for a very effective rate limiting mechanism since the external resource freed unused handles about an hour after they were last used

There have been lots more examples, but most of them fall into the category of being unbelievable if you were not a direct witness to the utter ignorance of the basics of software development that brought them to my attention.

Maybe it is time that we started to focus on the basics of the craft of coding before we get too far into creating overly complex systems that nobody can understand or fix.