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Top 20 Programming Lessons I've Learned in 20 Years  

2011-01-19 21:07:02|  分类: 项目开发管理 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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I've been programming since I was 11 and I've loved technology and programming every since. There are some hard and easy lessons I've learned over time. As a fellow programmer, you may not have experienced these, but I'm offering them to individuals who are interested in learning more from my experiences.

I'll be updating this as time goes on. I may have more, but in my 20 year period, I don't think there are any additional rules that this list doesn't include. :-)

Here are my most memorable lessons so far.

  1. Set a duration of how long you think it should take to solve a problem - C'mon, admit it! I'm just as guilty as the next programmer. I've seen programmers sit in front of a monitor for eight hours at a time trying to solve a particular problem. Set a time table for yourself of 1 hour, 30 minutes, or even 15 minutes. If you can't figure out a solution to your problem within your time frame, ask for help or research your problem on the Internet instead of trying to be super-coder.
  2. A language is a language is a language - Over time, once you understand how one language works, you'll notice similarities between other languages. The language you choose should provide you with a suitable "comfort" level, the ability to produce efficient (and clean) code, and, above all, allow the language to suit the project and vice-versa.
  3. Don't over-"design pattern" applications - Sometimes it's just easier to write a simple algorithm than it is to incorporate a singleton or facade pattern. For the most part, it even allows for cleaner, understandable code. :-)
  4. Always backup your code - I've experienced a complete hard drive failue and lost a lot of code when I was younger and felt horrible because of what had happened. The one time you don't back up your data may be the one time where you have a strict deadline with a client and they need it tomorrow. Source code/version control applies here as well.
  5. You are not the best at programming. Live with it. - I always thought that I knew so much about programming, but there is always someone out there better than you. Always. Learn from them.
  6. Learn to learn more - With number five explained, I've always had a magazine or book in my hand about computers or programming (ask my friends, they'll confirm). True, there is a lot of technology out there and keeping up with it is a fulltime job, but if you have a smart way of receiving your news, you'll learn about new technology every single day.
  7. Change is constant - Your knowledge of technology and/or programming should be similar to how you treat stocks: Diversify. Don't get too comfortable with a particular technology. If there's not enough support for that language or technology, you might as well start updating your resume now and start your training period. My general rule of thumb that has kept me going? Know at least two or three languages, so if one dies off, you have another one to fall back on while you train for a new technology.
  8. Support Junior - Assist and train the junior/entry-level developers on good programming guidelines and techniques. You never know...you may move up in rank and you'll feel more confident having personally trained and prepared them for their next position.
  9. Simplify the algorithm - Code like a fiend, but once you're done, go back through your code and optimize it. A little code improvement here and there will make support happier in the long run.
  10. Document your code - Whether its documenting a Web Service API or documenting a simple class, document as you go. I've been accused of over-commenting my code and that's something I'm proud of. It only takes a second to add an additional comment line for each 3 lines of code. If it's a harder technique to grasp, don't be afraid to over-comment. This is one problem most architects, backup coders, and support groups don't complain about if you've done your job right.
  11. Test, Test, Test - I'm a fan of Black Box Testing. When your routine is finished, your "stamp of approval" period starts. If you have a Quality Assurance department, you may be talking more to them than your project manager regarding errors in your code. If you don't test your code thoroughly, you may develop more than code. Possibly a bad reputation.
  12. Celebrate every success - I've met a lot of programmers who have conquered headache-style problems with a great programming technique and celebrated with a fellow programmer by doing the "shake", the high-five, or even a "happy dance." Everyone has enlightening periods in their life and even though that one happy coder asked you to come and see his extraordinary piece of code and you've seen that one piece of code over 100 times in your experiences, celebrate the success of a fellow developer for the 101-st time.
  13. Have Code Reviews Frequently - On projects and personally. In the company, you will always have code reviews of how well you coded something. Don't look at it as people crucifying your coding style. Think of it as constructive criticism. On the personal front, review your code and always ask, "How could I have done it better?" This will accelerate your learning and make you a better programmer.
  14. Reminisce about your code - There are two ways to looking at old code: "I can't believe I wrote this code" and "I can't believe I wrote this code." The first statement is often of disgust and wondering how you can improve it. You'd be surprised at how old code can be resurrected into a possible and better routine, or maybe even an entire product. The second statement is of amazement and achievement. Developers have their one or two project code achievements that they completed and had everyone standing up and taking notice. Again, based on your excellent coding ability, you could take those past routines or projects and update them into a better product or idea.
  15. Humor is necessary - In my 20 years of development, I have never met a programmer who hasn't had a decent sense of humor. Actually, in this industry, it's a requirement.
  16. Beware the know-it-all, possessive coder, and the inexperienced coder - Humble yourself when you meet these types of coders. The know-it-all tries to upstage you instead of working as a team player, the defensive coder created code that he doesn't want to share with anyone, and the inexperienced coder constantly asks for assistance every ten minutes where the finished code developed is yours, not theirs.
  17. No project is ever simple - I've been asked by friends, family, and associates to just "whip something up for me." To "whip" up a program or web site, it takes planning from both parties to complete something that both sides can appreciate. If someone needs a 3-page web site with Microsoft Access from the start, it winds up becoming a 15-page web site with SQL Server, a forum, and a custom CMS (Content Management System).
  18. Never take anything for granted - If you take on a simple project, you may think that a certain section will be easy to complete. Don't think that even for a moment. Unless you have a class, component, or piece of code already coded...and has been tested thoroughly...and is in production from an existing project, don't think it will be easy.
  19. Software is never finished - A fellow programmer once told me that software is never finished, it's "temporarily completed." Sound advice. If the client is still using a program you wrote and has stood the test of time, chances are, you are still updating it, which isn't a bad thing. It keeps you working. :-)
  20. Patience is definitely a virtue - When clients, friends, or family members use a PC, they get frustrated and proceed to hit a component of the PC or storm off. I keep telling everyone, "you are controlling the computer not the other way around." You need to have a certain level of patience for programming computers. As soon as programmers understand what they did wrong, they look at it from the computers point of view and say, "Oh, that's why it was doing that."

I hope this list of lessons learned have either inspired or provided a chuckle for some people.



1. 估算解决问题所需要的时间。不要怕,承认吧!我曾见过一些程序员为了解决一个特殊问题而坐在显示器前面8小时。为自己定一个时间限制吧,1小时、30分钟或甚至15分钟。如果在这期间你不能解决问题,那就去寻求帮助,或到网上找答案,而不是尝试去做“超级堆码员”。

2. 编程语言是一种语言,只是一种语言。随着时光推移,只要你理解了一种语言的原理,你会发现各种语言之间的相似之处 。你所选择的语言,你应该觉得“舒服”,并且能够写出有效(而且简洁)的代码。最重要的,让语言去适应项目,反之亦然。

3. 不要过于注重程序的“设计模式”。 有时候,写一个简单的算法,要比引入某种模式更容易。在多数情况下,程序代码应是简单易懂,甚至清洁工也能看懂。 

4. 经常备份代码。在我年轻时,我就有过因硬盘故障而丢了大量代码的经历,这经历很恐怖的。只要你一次没有备份,就应当像有着严格的期限,客户明天就需要。此时就该源码/版本控制软件大显身手了。

5. 承认自己并不是最顶尖的程序员 - 知不足。我常想,我对编程了解已足够多,但是总有其他人比你优秀。正所谓,“一山总比一山高”。所以,向他们看齐吧!

6. 学习再学习。正如第5点所说,我经常会在手里拿一本计算机或编程相关的杂志或书(不信,可以问我的朋友)。诚然,总有很多你不知道的技术,你可以从中学习以保持不落后。如果你有一种灵巧的方式来获取你需要的新技术,那你每天都应该坚持学习。

7. 永恒的变化你对待技术/编程知识,就应像你对待股票一样:多样化。不要在某一特定技术上自我感觉良好。如果那种技术或语言已经没有足够支持,那你还不如现在就开始更新你的简历,并启动培训新计划。我能保持前行的主要原则是什么呢?至少了解两到三种语言,所以,如果某种语言过时了,你在学习新技术的时候还可以依靠另一种语言。

8. 提携新人。协助并且培养初级/入门的开发人员学习优秀的编程方法和技巧。也许你还不知道,在帮助他们向更高一层前进时,你自己也在向更高一层提升,你会更加自信。

9. 简化算法。代码如恶魔,在你完成编码后,应回头并且优化它。从长远来看,这里或那里一些的改进,会让后来的支持人员更加轻松。

10. 编写文档。无论是Web服务的API,还是一个简单的类,你尽量编写相应文档。我曾经引以为豪的代码注释,因过度注释而有人指责。给三行代码加一行注释,只需要你几秒时间。如果那是一个比较难以理解的技术,千万别担心过多注释。如果你能很好做好自己的工作,大多数架构师、后备程序员、支持组都会感激你。

11. 测试、测试再测试。我是一名黑盒测试粉丝。当你完成编码后,你“被认可”的时候就开始了。如果你们公司有QA部门,如果你的代码中有错误,那你得到的评论,会比项目经理还多。如果你不彻底测试自己的代码,那恐怕你开发的就不只是代码,可能还会声名狼藉。

12. 庆祝每一次成功。我见过很多程序员在解决编程技术难题后,会和同伴握手、击掌或甚至手舞足蹈。每个人在生命中都会碰到“顿悟”。如果一个程序员高兴地跑来叫你去看他的非凡代码,也许你已经看过这样的代码100遍了,但你也应该为了这个家伙而庆祝第101次。

13. 经常检查代码。 在公司,你的代码要经常检查(包括自查和其他同事检查)。不要把别人的检查,看成是对代码风格的苛求。应该把它们看作是有建设性的批评。对个人来说,经常检查你的代码并且自问,“我怎样才能写得更好呢?” 这会让你加速你的成长,让你成为一个更优秀的程序员。

14. 回顾你的代码。在看到自己以前的代码时,通常会有两种方式:“难以至信,这代码是我写的”和“难以至信,这代码是我写的”。第一种往往是厌恶的语气,并在想如何改进它。你也许会惊叹,旧代码也能复活成为一种更好的程序,甚至是一个完整的产品。第二种通常带着惊奇和成就感。开发人员应该一到两个自己完成的项目成果,能让众人不禁而立并注目而观的项目。同样,基于你优越的编程能力,你可以把过去的程序或项目拿出来,把它们更新为更加优秀的产品或想法。

15. 幽默是不可缺的。在我20年的开发生涯中,我还没有碰到哪位程序员是没有幽默感的。实际上,干我们这行,幽默是一项必备品。

16. 谨防那些无所不知的程序员,不愿分享的程序员,还有经验不足的程序员。当你遇到这几种程序员时,你自己要谦虚。无所不知的程序员,更想当一个英雄而不是团队成员;保守的程序员则是在编写着他们独享的代码;而经验不足的程序员则会每十分钟就来问你一下,当代码完成后,代码已经是你的,而不是他们。

17. 任何项目都不会那么简单。朋友、家人和同事曾请求我仓促做一些事情,仓促做一个程序或者网站。对于这样的事,应该从双方做计划,才能做出令两方都会满意的东西。如果某人起初只是需要一个使用Microsoft Access的、只有有3个页面的网站,但来就很可能变成一个有15个页面的网站,并使用SQL Server,有一个论坛,还有一个定制的CMS(内容管理系统)。

18. 任何时候不要想当然。假如你承接一个简单的项目,你可能会认为某个部分可以轻松完成。千万别这样想!除非你有一个类、组件、或者一段已经写好的代码,并且在现有的项目已经测试通过。不要认为这将是很容易的。

19. 没有已经完成的软件。曾经有一位程序员告诉我,没有软件是已经完成的,它只是“暂时完成了”。这是明智的忠告。如果客户还在使用你写的程序,并经受了时间的考验。如果有机会,你仍在更新它,这并不是什么坏事,这让你不断地前行。

20. 耐心是一种美德。当客户、朋友或家庭成员用电脑的时候,他们也许会受挫,进而想砸电脑,或气冲冲地离开。我一直在告诉他们,“是你掌控电脑,不是电脑掌控你。”对于用作编程的电脑,你要有一定的耐心。一旦程序员知道问题所在后,他们就会站在电脑的角度看问题,并且说“哦,这就是为什么它是这样做。”




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