Don't be a "Did it work? Yay! Ship it!" coder

 •  Filed under Programmer, Programming, Software, Software Development

I'm working on a longer post on what it means to write high quality code, but until that's done, I wanted to call out what I see as the tell-tale sign of less experienced programmers. It's when you see that "Did it work? Yay! Ship it!" quality to code. Let's call the person who does this, the DIWYSI coder.

So what are the signs of the DIWYSI coder?

The most obvious sign is lint, lazy writing or code structure, and lots of notes to self that never get acted upon. I don't mean that code has to be perfectly structured. I'm really not a perfectionist. It's just that someone who is only trying to get the code working and not thinking of other programmers is going to just hack, hack, hack, and once it works, commit and move on.

This kind of code often looks like:

    const thing = function someFun(){
      If ( something)
          // How does this even work?!?!
             Do_the_thing() }

This is exaggerated, of course, but it's not far off some stuff I've seen.

Keep this in mind -- great code is much more than just writing something that runs correctly. "Did it work?" should be the first question you ask, not the only question. If it doesn't run, then yeah, it's not good. Anyone working as a programmer today ought to be able to write code that runs. Writing code that runs and that another programmer can pick up and understand is much better.

Overcast's app-design fashion

 •  Filed under Ios, Apps, Design, Podcast

Marco Arment's post on Overcast 3's new design is a fascinating read. My favorite line from the piece:

App-design fashion doesn’t stand still

I was also surprised to learn that so few people know how to delete podcast episodes. One of the biggest selling points of Overcast, for me, is how easy it is to scan and delete episodes. I agree, though, that the new version makes this better.

Overcast is the best podcast app on iOS, hands down. Get it if you don't already use it. And this post is a great behind-the-scenes read on the design of the latest version.

Via Daring Fireball.

For the Debaters: What Shall We Do About the Tech Careening Our Way? - The New York Times

 •  Filed under Politics, Economics, Technology

For the Debaters: What Shall We Do About the Tech Careening Our Way? - The New York Times

This is so spot on. Someone please ask a question like this during the debates. Everyone claims they’re going to repair our economy, and yet, none of them ever talk seriously about the role of tech in both advancing and displacing economies around the world.

This. Please. Yes, this.

Daring Fireball: Design as Branding

 •  Filed under Mobile, Apple, Design, Iphone

Daring Fireball: Design as Branding

I love Gruber’s take here, as he rebuts Manjoo’s belief that Apple design has gone stale. It’s actually shocking to me how many people mistake design as aesthetics only, rather than a combination of look, feel, and function. This is, perhaps, a good indicator for why so much much tech – software and hardware combined – is so often ridiculously clunky and unfriendly to everyday users.

And for reals, how can you not look at that jet black iPhone 7 and see a strikingly beautiful phone?

'No Man's Sky' Shows What Algorithms Can And Can't Do

 •  Filed under Reviews, Gaming, Games, No Man'S Sky

'No Man's Sky' Shows What Algorithms Can And Can't Do

All the shallow gameplay that exists right now, all those seconds spent drilling into giant rocks with lasers and not having enough room to carry things, wouldn't even matter if I had a companion to do it with.

Best review ever of No Man's Sky. There has been no indication from Hello Games about whether they will pursue this, but I agree, user interaction and content is all this game needs to be truly great.