In Defense of Reading the [Fine] Manual

InfoWorld’s Tom Yager speaks in favor of the RTFM approach to learning new skills, arguing that the knowledge gleaned from cracking a manual only in search of a specific answer is eroding software quality. “The reason is that developers don’t allow themselves the time to look things up before they use them. Statement completion, context-sensitive help, generated code, unit testing, and automated analysis came about expressly to eliminate research and experimentation from the development cycle. The result, I think, speaks for itself. How many rookie coding blunders that lead to security vulnerabilities grow out of inadequately understood usage of a method or resource?”


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