Personal Software Development Practices

  • Don’t fear the code. It’s just code.
  • Never write (or copy) a line of code that you don’t fully understand.
  • Figure out how things really work and why they work they way they do.
  • If you don’t understand something, go deeper. Read the source code for the library you’re using.
  • Use tools to figure out how things work–debugger, unit tests, sample programs.
  • Create a punchlist to guide your work–investigations, things to do, things to test
  • Test the hell out of your code. Be as thorough as possible
  • When you get stuck, go for a 5 minute walk.
  • When you get stuck, describe your stuckness out loud to somebody else.
  • Write down what you’ve learned. Create a FAQ document and answer all the questions.
  • Try to teach someone else what you’ve learned. Create a blog.
  • Leave breadcrumbs for yourself and others–personal notes or comments in the code.
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