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Don’t Flaunt Your Best Code, Show Us Your Broken Crap

Filed Under Code, Quality Controls

Broken Chain

What is the difference between intelligence and wisdom?

Some would venture to say experience, and I would agree to a point. I believe it is our failed experiences that continue forcing life’s lessons down our throats. An additional injection of humbleness through humility, and we have the perfect dose of much needed medicine to aid us in our journey towards personal improvement.

So what is stopping us from traveling down the path of enlightenment through failure? Simple. The fear of perceived failure.

Notice I did not just say “failure”, “fear”, or even “fear of failure”. What I am after is “perceived failure“, which can be interrupted into many things including:

Perceived lack of…

  • Knowledge
  • Artistry
  • Intellect
  • Ability
  • Skills

You need to quit sweeping known uncertainty under the rug and this includes your code.

I grow weary of code reviews where the author (with a nice sized grin) proudly shows their clean solution, and then [being the asshole I am] call to see where they hid all of their crap code that I know is truly holding the house of cards up. Their grin quickly turns to a defensive posture, and the true code review begins…

I don’t care what you best code is – I want to see the weakest link! You and your solution are only as strong as the weakest link, so let’s take a look at it and improve it. We all have them, so let’s quit hiding them. Sure you might not look like superman now, but at least you won’t look like a liar later when your bad designs and hacks come back to haunt you (and they will).

Find it hard to open up to a group of people? Find those one or two buddies you always show your crap to. They don’t even have to work on the same team or even in the same company as you. As long as you think they can help you out, confide in them and allow yourself to take criticism.

The road to being better is to simply allow yourself to become better. Your pride is your own worst enemy in this scenario, and overcoming it will start to open many doors that lead to learning opportunities.

So after all this, why should you never flaunt your best code? Because self pride leads to a lack of humbleness…plus it’s probably not all that great to start with.

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3 Responses to “Don’t Flaunt Your Best Code, Show Us Your Broken Crap”

  1. Osama Dwairi on January 26th, 2009 7:48 am


    but I am wondering which book, article, etc …. inspired you to write this article? that would help diving into these things 😛

    – Osama

  2. Max Pool on January 26th, 2009 8:16 am

    @Osama –

    Unfortunately, most of my inspiration comes from my experiences; however, thankfully I have had a long time friend that I can bounce ideas and garbage code off of.

  3. developingchris on January 26th, 2009 9:14 am

    This makes me think we need a “hot or not” type site for particular subsets of languages, like “ mvc hot or not” where you can bounce your bad code. Its like bizarro stack overflow.

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