"Yep, that's pretty cool but if anyone else has to maintain your code they're screwed."
Translated: "Yep, that's pretty cool but if I have to maintain your code, I'm screwed."
That's what your co-worker thinks. If faced with the necessity to maintain your code, he might just surprise himself and rise to the occasion despite his lack of self-confidence.
In other words you should "code down" to the least experienced coder on your team.
Absolutely not! You should work together to improve your collective skills rather than work separately to worsen the quality of your code. The "coding down" idea is built on the assumption that each member of the team should be able to do the work of any other without assistance. If that's the case, there is no point in being a team at all. If the least experienced member doesn't understand some code then you should simply help him understand it.
I think the most effective approach to coding is simply "do your best." Write code that someone at your own skill level would rate highly. Dumbing it down won't help you or anyone in the long run.
"My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
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