What is wrong with cut-and-paste? Well our resident
said it very well in On reinventing the wheel
As for general advice, well that is a huge topic. I
would suggest trying to learn to think beyond the
next line of code. Books like Code Complete,
Pragmatic Programmer, some more reviewed ones
and many others are good. There are a lot of good design
And contrary to what people here have said, there is at
least one fairly large piece of software that is actively
used and complete. Donald Knuth declared on Oct 3, 1990
that TeX and Metafont were feature complete and would only
get bug fixes. At the time TeX was at version 3.1. There
have been 2 releases since then. From the summer of
1993 onwards the version of TeX has stood at 3.1415.
It is today used by perhaps a million people, and in
several specialty areas (eg publishing math) is the
standard. OTOH Knuth is, well, Knuth... :-)
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