Coding Like a Girl

No, that’s not an insult. What I’m actually referring to is this post from Creating Passionate Users. I think that the captions for the first two pictures was accidentally switched, but don’t take my word on it. I’m not the artsy type 😛

Anyway, I’m a professional programmer (my official title is Analyst Programmer, but don’t mind the technicalities), however, I don’t think that I fit the stereotype of your average professional coder. I do comment my codes, albeit sparsely. Of course, when it comes to web pages or web apps, I go to great pains to ensure that the output is 100% standards compliant.

Most of the time, I do thrive to make my codes as clean-formatted as possible. Always think of the guy/gal that’s going to inherit your work (if you think you’re going to do this job forever, I pity your lack of ambition). To me, it’s not a question of beauty or grace. On the contrary, it has got to do more with science rather than art.

You see, to me beautiful code is functional code with as little cruft as possible. A fairly competent programmer should have at least a basic understanding of what a particular class or procedure or call does by simply glancing over the lines it contains. You’ll know where to place your comments if you plan your code in this manner. If you had a hard time coding a particular section, you know it’s time to drop in a comment or two.

Now back to the title of the linked post; Code like a girl. Is this even true? At the risk of being labelled as a chauvinist, I have to say that the few lady coders I knew, every single one of them writes messy code. Probably explains why female coders are very rare, especially in Malaysia and Singapore. However, being the smarter sex, they instantly found niches in consultancy and sales. This is where guys suck big time. They probably can construct solid, elegant products. But most guys, especially on the technology front, are extremely poor at convincing potential customers why their product is a must have.

This is where I’m in total disagreement with the author. Beautiful code is almost always notgirl code. I know that the author uses this phrase as a figure of speech. However, it definitely does not reflect reality… at least not mine.

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