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Re: [vox] [OT] Learning to program
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Re: [vox] [OT] Learning to program

Micah Cowan wrote:

> <snip>

> Another thing that I meant to mention, but completely forgot to: It's
> very important to learn how to write quality code; code that's
> easy-to-read, easy-to-maintain when major *or* minor changes come
> along, and easy-to-port to other platforms or software projects.

In my opinion, learning to write quality code is the most important skill
a programmer could develop. It is healthy to assume that the human readers of
your code are busy and need to understand it quickly.
To learn to write quality code, it's helpful to take a good software engineering
and data structures course at a CS school.

A good indication of the quality of CS education is whether or not the
software engineering textbook (in the bookstore) has a section on
"Cohesion and Coupling." In the late 1970s, a fellow named Myers
identified 7 levels of cohesion and 5 levels of coupling that are important
to use in function development. (Cohesion is a quality of the independence
of a function, and coupling is a quality of a function's parameter list.)
It boils down to a list of do's and don'ts in function development.

Unfortunately, programming language textbooks
exhaustively show you the details of the language without showing you
a quality way of implementing those details. In actuality, it's only a subset
of all those details that you really use. So what details are the important
ones? A course in data structures answers that.


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