Letters to a new developer from Joel Spolsky

Dear new developer,

Looks like Joel Spolsky has written a number of blogs posts aimed at new developers. Every post is tagged with the date so you can be aware of any old posts that may have dated advice. But I’ve been following Joel since a colleague emailed the Joel Test around our workplace in 2000 or 2001. He’s founded a couple of great companies (including Stack Overflow) and has lots of great advice, written pithily.

A sample:

Here is why I like duct tape programmers. Sometimes, you’re on a team, and you’re busy banging out the code, and somebody comes up to your desk, coffee mug in hand, and starts rattling on about how if you use multi-threaded COM apartments, your app will be 34% sparklier, and it’s not even that hard, because he’s written a bunch of templates, and all you have to do is multiply-inherit from 17 of his templates, each taking an average of 4 arguments, and you barely even have to write the body of the function. It’s just a gigantic list of multiple-inheritance from different classes and hey, presto, multi-apartment threaded COM. And your eyes are swimming, and you have no friggin’ idea what this frigtard is talking about, but he just won’t go away, and even if he does go away, he’s just going back into his office to write more of his clever classes constructed entirely from multiple inheritance from templates, without a single implementation body at all, and it’s going to crash like crazy and you’re going to get paged at night to come in and try to figure it out because he’ll be at some goddamn “Design Patterns” meetup.

And the duct-tape programmer is not afraid to say, “multiple inheritance sucks. Stop it. Just stop.”

I’d give them all a read.

Sincerely,

Dan

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