Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Code Should Mean Something

Dear Junior
There are always many discussions on the aesthetics of code and coding.
I thoroughly believe that code should have a meaning. By that, I mean that the code does not only execute something. Rather, it should go beyond that and try to reflect the idea of the programmer that wrote the code. As a reader, I should be able to reconstruct the most crucial ideas that lead to the solution I see in front of me.
In other words, the main purpose of the code is to explain your idea across time and space to another programmer, which might be yourself when you have forgotten all that extra information you have in your head. To your help you have a very restricted (programming) language in which you should make all your important ideas clear. Apart from that, you are only allowed to annotate (documentation) the solution with text in natural language.
In this respect, programming is a pedagogical trait.