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The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

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Chapter 6While You Are Coding

Conventional wisdom says that once a project is in the coding phase, the work is mostly mechanical, transcribing the design into executable statements. We think that this attitude is the single biggest reason that many programs are ugly, inefficient, poorly structured, unmaintainable, and just plain wrong.

Coding is not mechanical. If it were, all the CASE tools that people pinned their hopes on in the early 1980s would have replaced programmers long ago. There are decisions to be made every minute—decisions that require careful thought and judgment if the resulting program is to enjoy a long, accurate, and productive life.

Developers who don't actively think about their code are programming by coincidence—the code ...

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