Saturday, June 6, 2009

Blog coding

I’ve recently noticed a new trend in coding that I find troublesome. I’ll call it Blog Coding. Blog coding is a condition where programmer X doesn’t know how to implement a certain technology or needs to solve a real or perceived issue, searches for answers by typing phrases in (insert your favorite search engine) and then spending hours reading through the results.

More often than not the code found in blogs is designed to solve a particular problem the author has encountered in his/her domain and may only provide a partial solution to the problem faced by the blog coder. Even more common, the samples are text book style code snippets that really don’t apply to real world issues at all. But the blog coder will diligently work with various samples and snippets combining code from multiple blogs to create a Frankenstein solution. The solution may or may not work or it may work on the blog coders local machine. When confronted for an explanation of how the code works or why it was written a certain way (you can always spot blog coder code by the variation in coding styles present in single methods or classes).

So how do we as developers help eliminate blog coding? The first and most important thing to do is to encourage fellow programmers take the time to learn the tools and frameworks that we work with. Managers should insure learning time is set aside during the work week. Write some code! Nothing is better for learning than writing some real working code. If all else fails, post a question on a programming specific Q&A site like Stackoverflow.

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