To put it another way... What is the most commonly held and frustrating misunderstanding about programming, you have encountered?

Which widespread and longstanding myths/misconceptions do you find hard for programmers to dispel/correct.

Please, explain why this is a myth.

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  • 24
    I'd like to see Mythbusters take on some of these. – spong Sep 9 '10 at 17:47
  • 8
    Anyone up for a Mythbuggers YouTube channel? :-) – Tamara Wijsman Sep 9 '10 at 21:32
  • 1
    Ooooh, MythBusters and race conditions! Meesa like! – user1249 Oct 24 '10 at 14:59
  • @TomWij that would be great to have a website with such name! – Junior M Oct 24 '10 at 15:21

61 Answers 61


That comments are actually useful

  • 5
    I think you meant the opposite ... – HoLyVieR Sep 13 '10 at 2:52
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    Let's rephrase that as "That comments are inherently useful", because that is obviously blatantly wrong. Comments can even be misleading or disruptive. Ideally code should be self-explanatory. Comments should only be used to add non-obvious details or explain complex code that can't be refactored into a more readable version (e.g. because doing so would be seriously inefficient or impossible). – Alan Plum Sep 19 '10 at 17:49
  • Totally agree. In fact overuse/incorrect of comments I would consider harmful. – Martin York Jan 17 '11 at 5:35

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