Have you ever let your coding standards slip to meet deadlines or save time?

I'll start with a trivial example:

We came up with a coding standard at work around which brackets/formatting to use and so on. I ignore it and use the auto-format tool in netbeans.

  • Using a formatter isn't cheating at all. If you have the formatter configured to meet the requirements then it's stupid to waste time aligning things. Select the code and let the software do it. At a previous job I put together a PerlTidy settings file and passed it around and told the other developers to use it. I used to do the same thing with my Java code to make it easier to read. – the Tin Man Nov 4 '10 at 7:09
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    that's not cutting corners, that's working smarter! – Steven A. Lowe Nov 4 '10 at 14:30

I know this is generally a big no-no in books on effective programming, but I often flip the bozo bit on some people. Didn't have negative effects so far.

  • Flip the bozo bit: urbandictionary.com/… – Keyo Nov 4 '10 at 1:21
  • Yep that's the one. – Jas Nov 4 '10 at 1:25
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    I think I have more of a bozo byte rather than a single bit. If someone consistently acts stupid and shows incompetence and weak mental ability, I just give that person a low score. I just don't bother getting into long arguments with those people (depending on how much of a bozo hat person is and how complex the thing being discussed is) - basically because they never understand the reasoning anyway. I know that's bad, but it saves a lot of time and energy, and gets things done while preventing unpleasantness. Works better than simply marking a person as utterly useless. – MAK Nov 4 '10 at 13:30
  • @MAK, I think we're pretty much talking the same thing here. As a matter of fact, I'd rather do the bozo guy's task myself, rather then listen to his/hers completely hilarious points in discussion. But I'd say, lack of skill does not flip my bozo bits - it's rather the person's ignorance and failure to acknowledge that they need to learn and improve. People may be born geniuses but it's hard work and constant improvement that makes result. – Jas Nov 4 '10 at 14:08

There are many times that I let comments slip, and then when I get more time put them in. It's actually a benefit since in refiguring out what I did, it gives me a better perspective on it, and sometimes I come up with better ways to do the job.

  • Better that than writing long comments to explain convoluted code. – Keyo Nov 4 '10 at 1:17
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    The downside to holding off commenting is that often we don't get a chance to go back and comment. Prototype and test code often ends up in production and we get thrown onto other tasks, then someone else inherits the old code. I throw in comments for code that isn't self-documenting otherwise I try to make the code explain itself. – the Tin Man Nov 4 '10 at 7:13

I don't usually change general coding practices but I may let the code slip from the design. Usually this happens when I find the design needs to be re-factored a bit but instead of doing that I just staple some code in place that will make it work with an inadequate design. I usually make some TODO comments about this so we can fix it later.


Writing methods to do one thing instead of all permutations and exceptions of it.

Sometimes I have to cut corners by coding a method to be very specific to what I'm currently releasing. A very basic example would be if you have a requirement to write a method to take an order and ship it to somewhere from a warehouse. Sometimes I write the code so that it is with the assumption that everything comes from that single warehouse. But what about when they get a new warehouse? Or 5? We're growing, so it may be soon, but to do multiples it would require methods to translate inventory and closeness of a warehouse to which warehouse would actually ship the goods. What if one is out of the product? Do you wait since it's the closest? Do you just ship from the other if they have it? What about shipping costs? Is it worth it? That's way too much extra coding on a deadline. Sometimes I have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

  • That's not cutting corners, often it's correct. You can't guess the requirements ahead of time. Just make sure you wrote the code in a manner that allows you to add all the new requirements later. – CaffGeek Feb 3 '11 at 22:34

None... I bit the bullet

I got so upset one day I intentionally spent six hours writing a code generator in SQL. It was the best six hours of programming time I ever spent. That one code generator saved me at least 3 hours on every project from that day on.

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