Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th May 2014 21:06 UTC, submitted by KLU9
General Development

Every programmer occasionally, when nobody's home, turns off the lights, pours a glass of scotch, puts on some light German electronica, and opens up a file on their computer. It's a different file for every programmer. Sometimes they wrote it, sometimes they found it and knew they had to save it. They read over the lines, and weep at their beauty, then the tears turn bitter as they remember the rest of the files and the inevitable collapse of all that is good and true in the world.

This file is Good Code.

StillDrinking writes on the torment of being a programmer.

Thread beginning with comment 588185
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: Perfect vs good
by MyNameIsNotImportant on Tue 6th May 2014 04:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Perfect vs good"
MyNameIsNotImportant
Member since:
2013-01-02

"Good enough is good enough" isn't supposed to be my message. Trying to get it just perfect can make you obsessive(which is a kind of insanity) or prevent you from getting anything done at all. I'd rather know that there's a cure for AIDS with side effects that's very expensive and only working 50% of the time and have it NOW, than having no cure at all available because a government agency won't approve it because of the negative side effects. You always have to begin somewhere, and that's usually anything but perfect. (Think about the first car, or the first plane, or the first anything) Will you never workout, just because you'll probably never get to an olympic level? Does your girl friend have to look like a top model, or can you be glad that you have a girlfriend in the first place?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Perfect vs good
by Soulbender on Tue 6th May 2014 07:53 in reply to "RE[2]: Perfect vs good"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yeah, i figured that's not what you meant. I just wanted to put it out there ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Perfect vs good
by unclefester on Tue 6th May 2014 10:58 in reply to "RE[2]: Perfect vs good"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

"Good enough is good enough" isn't supposed to be my message. Trying to get it just perfect can make you obsessive(which is a kind of insanity) or prevent you from getting anything done at all. I'd rather know that there's a cure for AIDS with side effects that's very expensive and only working 50% of the time and have it NOW, than having no cure at all available because a government agency won't approve it because of the negative side effects. You always have to begin somewhere, and that's usually anything but perfect. (Think about the first car, or the first plane, or the first anything) Will you never workout, just because you'll probably never get to an olympic level? Does your girl friend have to look like a top model, or can you be glad that you have a girlfriend in the first place?


Physical engineering disciplines have a very formal education and licensing process to ensure that all practitioners are competent to perform high quality work. They don't let self taught high school graduates design bridges or cars.

Software designers tend to take a far more ad hoc approach than other engineers. IT projects often have massive cost blowouts, huge delays and are sometimes simply scrapped because they lack adequate planning, poor documentation and low quality implementation.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[4]: Perfect vs good
by kwan_e on Tue 6th May 2014 11:17 in reply to "RE[3]: Perfect vs good"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Physical engineering disciplines have a very formal education and licensing process to ensure that all practitioners are competent to perform high quality work. They don't let self taught high school graduates design bridges or cars.

Software designers tend to take a far more ad hoc approach than other engineers. IT projects often have massive cost blowouts, huge delays and are sometimes simply scrapped because they lack adequate planning, poor documentation and low quality implementation.


Although it must be said, in physical engineering projects where the requirements are changed often, you see the same kind of blowout, if they're lucky. Especially in the modern age where things are no longer really built to last, but to hug the cost graphs as close to possible. They even call it over-engineering now.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Perfect vs good
by krreagan on Tue 6th May 2014 23:37 in reply to "RE[3]: Perfect vs good"
krreagan Member since:
2008-04-08

This is similar to what my Software Engineering instructor use to say...
Programmers get the code to work by any means, otherwise known as hacking!...
Software Engineers design the system to work from the outset, before the first line of code is written...

Most coders are and want to be the former. It takes an Engineer to be the latter.

Reply Parent Score: 6