in reply to My code and your stupidity don't mix!
in thread Would you use 'goto' here?

Since I'm willing to bet your paycheck that I have a few more years in the software industry that you, allow me to point something out:

A software shop does not want to have to hire the top 5% of the skill pool just to do code base maintainence when you leave. You also don't probably don't want to spend the rest of your work career at that company maintaining a project you wrote 5 years ago.

To this end, it's well and fine to use out-of-idiom methods when absolutely necessary, but not just because you can, or because they're cute. An *experienced* programmer recognizes when to write for efficiency (and saving .0001 CPU seconds off a job that runs once a week hardly qualifies), and when to write for maintainability.

Some languages support the ability to write obfusicated code more than others. Perl outshines C in this respect, since Perl is a richer and more complex language. If the next guy that comes along to make some changes to your code has to track you down across the country to ask about how something what was done, that doesn't necessarily make him stupid. It may make him less skilled, but it's also a reflection on your inability to write for maintainability.

Try getting involved in code reviews. If you have 5 people on the team, odds are they will not all have the same skill levels. If 2 or more agree that your code is obtuse, perhaps you should consider your style.

The inability to write for maintainability costs a company money. You may have saved 10 minutes thinking about how to do it, but if it took 3 days for someone else to figure out it's supposed to work, you've burdened the company with your 'coolness'.

Let me take another tack. Let's say you told me "I can read English". So, I write you a letter in English. No problems, right? Well, you start complaining about my use of the words with more than 6 letters. They're too difficult. You've never seen them. You don't like them. (And, yes, I've received this complaint before!) Should I not use a standard part of the language you have said you speak solely because you don't want to make good your assertion?!?

This is a bad assertion, by the way. There are plenty of phrases I can write that will send you to a dictionary to figure out what I mean. Unless your goal is to complicate communication, there's no point in using obscure words. If you're trying to be understood, you don't use words that only see print when a new dictionary is released.

A whole armamentarium of devices to create an illusion of real life -- Kenneth Rexroth


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