Friday, February 27, 2009

Foolish writers and readers are created for each other

Probably like a lot of people, the hoo-ha between Atwood/Spolsky and Robert Martin on the importance of code quality and unit tests has had me thinking a lot lately. But it's not the suggestion code quality is of little value, or that writing unit tests are thriftless that was the subject of my reflections.

What's got me thinking about it all, is how both sides of the argument are extremely anecdotal. Atwood, Spolsky and Martin are all being very prescriptive about subjects that are extremely idiosyncratic, and these guys professionally represent two extreme ends of the programming spectrum; big company consulting and small team software R&D. I'd even go so far as to say they are different professions.

Anyway, I've come to the conclusion that I need to be more careful when being so prescriptive in my writing, and I need to do a much better job at qualifying my opinions on not-so-cut-and-dry matters.

"Foolish writers and readers are created for each other."
- Horace Walpole