Ironic Programming How To Guide Teaches Programmers How Not To
October 29, 2013
An article from Typical Programmer titled How to Develop Unmaintainable Software is written by a programmer who spends most of his workdays debugging, maintaining and fixing systems. The almost entirely ironical article is a how-to (or how-not-to) code in a way that will make maintenance possible. Tips like “don’t use version control” and “write everything from scratch” are followed with explanations of how such techniques will make it almost impossible for another programmer to address issues in the coding. For example, “Use a bunch of different programming languages and stay cutting-edge” is followed up with,
“Every day HackerNews and Reddit buzz with cool new languages. Try them out on your client’s time… The boundaries between the languages, the incompatible APIs and data formats, the different server configuration requirements are all fun challenges to overcome and post about on StackOverflow…Half-baked caching, aborted Rails and Node.js projects, and especially NoSQL solutions (“It’s more scaleable!”) are my bread and butter.”
We have to wonder if the author had enterprise search systems in mind while writing this hilarious article. In the end, the author explains to his brother and sister programmers that the beauty and functionality of a code is secondary to it being easy to work with. Source control, fewer dependencies, and a testing/staging facility are vital to maintaining a system.
Chelsea Kerwin, October 29, 2013