Ninja Coding sounds like how I got into coding proper.
You get told to fix/change something and you do it by reading the existing code then adding a few lines here or there.
Like you say, not potentially the best code but it works. If you do it for enough different other people, I suspect you will learn others "styles" and hopefully over time learn the best from each style and eventually you'll develop a personal style that is pretty good.
I am a noob really, but hacking/Ninja coding others code has taught me a heck of a lot. But I too was not sure if I could actually code anything on my own or at least in my own style.
So... I started a sourceforge project and I am slowly writing my own code and getting better as I go along.
Ninja Coding is great for learning, but starting fresh with your own style takes it from learning to mastery. (well I hope it will anyway!)
Kia Kaha, Kia Toa, Kia Manawanui!
Be Strong, Be Brave, Be perservering!
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