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Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Programmers

Updated on May 3, 2015

I submit to you the 7 habits of highly ineffective programmers. My opinions are based on my 20 years of programming and hiring, firing, training, and mentoring programmers.

We all have a little ineffectiveness in us.


Don't design anything

Car-door-to-keyboard, that's your motto. Don't learn Poseidon, ERWin, or anything about design patterns. Just crank out code and massage it later. Read just enough of the the functional specification to give you a general idea of what the product should do. If you're not coding, you're not being productive.

Don't learn anything new

Every web site can be programmed in php and MySQL. ASP Classic rocks; ASP .Net will never catch on. Avoid new technologies like the Swine Flu. Never pick up a trade magazine. If a vendor sends you free software, sell it on eBay immediately.

Don't read anyone else's code

Your code sings; everyone else's grunts and trundles. You'll just end up debugging their work anyway. When forced to attend a code walk-through, bring your iPod.

Don't unit test

Assume that your code can't possibly fail and no one will ever have to maintain it. Anticipate perfection. If you find yourself writing a test utility, be sure to delete it before committing the module.

Lock into Open Source

Stallman rules! Don't even consider loading Visual Studio. Proudly advertise your disdain for Microsoft by using the distro DVD as a drink coaster.

Don't acquire domain knowledge

If your company makes soap, that's a problem to be solved in Manufacturing. You make software, right? Avoid trade shows. Never take calls from your sales reps.

Never ask for help

Spend hours struggling over your connection strings. Rewrite entire methods rather than ask someone to look at a syntax error. Do not, under any circumstances, make eye contact with QA, Tech Writing or Engineering. Walk the halls with your head down, feigning deep thought.


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