I am a terrible programmer

I recently got this from the co-founder of Artsicle, a startup I interned for over the summer after my freshman year:

From: Scott Carleton
Subject: just refactored your find_art.js that you did over a year ago
Part of me is thinking: in some ways, you were a terrible programmer
Other part is, well shit, it’s worked perfectly for the last 20 months and I’ve never had to touch it. 🙂

Scott is absolutely right: I am a terrible programmer. I don’t comment my code very well. Sometimes I ignore the DRY principle. I tend not to use fancy ternary statements, or worry too much about whitespace. My data structures can get ugly sometimes.

But in other ways, I (dare I say it) am a pretty good programmer. For example, Artsicle is a Rails shop and prior to working for them I had only had very limited experience in Rails or any true MVC framework. After a few weeks, I had mostly picked up the codebase and was building features without inordinate trouble.

I also ship stuff. A lot of stuff. I’ve probably built and released 20 apps over the past two years in a variety of languages and frameworks from Python to Rails to Node to Backbone.

42 Floors even publicly offered me a job to become a programmer for them. You can argue that it may have be undeserved, but either way given my ability to produce products with code, it seems that we have a dilemma on our hands.

Am I a terrible coder, or a good one? Continue Reading

8 Nov 2012, 7:46pm | 106 comments


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