Pacific Tides
My name is Thomas Sturm and I'm a programmer, photographer and writer.

Now go outside and look at the sky.

Coding With Experience

Over at DadHacker, Landon is celebrating his 30th year of programming in C. It's a great reminiscence across several decades of coding, ending in three golden rules that should be repeated in the first chapter of every future programming manual:

  • Leave the existing brace style in the code alone or change all of it
  • Keep your comments neat, relevant and typo-free
  • Delete all unused code - and then go back and delete some more
Approaching my very own three decades of programming pretty soon, I can only agree wholeheartedly. There are many old code examples of mine that horrify me now with how messy they are, and I can definitely tell that over the years my coding style has become ever more clean and neat. Past debugging sessions on nasty chunks of my own code have taught me some hard lessons...

It's interesting to see in Landon's post that he very early on fell for C and that he was lucky enough in his career to be able to return to that language that suits him best - certainly something that not many programmers can say, since we are often forced by pre-existing code or by the vagaries of a client's wish list to use whatever language is necessary.

My own experience with C came later in my programming path, only after several flavors of Basic, an unfortunate run-in with Pascal and a deep fascination with machine code. C was fun, and later on I wrote several smaller projects with it, but it never captured my imagination.

The favorite language of my programming career was a late addition just over ten years ago - JavaScript. Certainly not everybody's favorite, but due to many lucky circumstances now quite a powerful actor on the stage of computing. I deeply miss working closer to the hardware, as it is possible with machine code or C, but JavaScript instead fascinates me with it's close integration with the user interface.

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