Cover by Steve McConnell

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To Comment or Not to Comment

Comments are easier to write poorly than well, and commenting can be more damaging than helpful. The heated discussions over the virtues of commenting often sound like philosophical debates over moral virtues, which makes me think that if Socrates had been a computer programmer, he and his students might have had the following discussion.

The Commento

Characters:

THRASYMACHUS A green, theoretical purist who believes everything he reads

CALLICLES A battle-hardened veteran from the old school—a "real" programmer

GLAUCON A young, confident, hot-shot computer jock

ISMENE A senior programmer tired of big promises, just looking for a few practices that work

SOCRATES The wise old programmer

Setting:

END OF THE TEAM'S DAILY STANDUP ...

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