How to Write Great Code

19 August 2015

Learn why the secret to writing great code can be found at Burning Man and why smart programmers should strive to be anonymous.


>> Making software is like making children.
>> It’s one brief moment of creation.
>> And a lifetime of maintenance and cleaning up vomit.
>> What makes code good, is that it’s almost anonymous.
>> Mm. You shouldn’t be able to read someone’s code and say, oh,
you know what?
>> I think Kevin from down the hall wrote that.
>> Because if it’s idiosyncratic like that, that means it’s hard for
someone else to modify.
>> We should all be able to grasp each other’s code, and
modify the hell out of it.
>> Hey, guys, who wrote this code?
>> It’s super buggy.
>> It just crashed the whole server.
>> I can’t tell.
>> Tyler, can you tell?
>> I cannot tell, that is brilliant work.
>> See, a good coder doesn’t have style that’s distinctly their own.
>> If you have a style of coding that’s distinctly your own for good
reasons, it will be good and people will adapt to it and mimic your style.
>> And then it becomes anonymous again.
>> Everyone falls in line.
>> It’s like Darwinism.
>> It’s like Darwinism.
>> Good code has a natural rhythm.
>> Good code has a natural rhythm.
>> It goes on, it makes you think, think, think, write, write, write.
>> It goes on, it makes you think, think, think, write, write, write.
>> [CROSSTALK] And the you hand off the computer, you pause,
see what happens, you find the problem, and then you think think, think,
write, write, write again.
>> And your life flows beautifully.
>> And that’s why you should go to Burning Man, every year.
>> You’ve never been to Burning Man.
>> Yeah, but I get it.
>> You don’t get it until you go.
>> You go, you get it.
>> Why don’t you invite me?
>> You never invite me.
>> because I have two seats in my car,
take the train >> What’s the train to Burning Man?
>> The Amtrak, take the Amtrak, use your imagination.
>> What stop is it?
>> People always ask us, do you do other activities while you’re coding,
like do you check Facebook?
>> And we always reply, we’re not taking questions right now, we’re coding.
>> Does that answer your question?
>> Well, we don’t care because we’re not taking answers either.
>> We’re coding!
>> Get!
>> Coding requires complete focus.
>> Did Monet tweet while he was painting Bridge Over Troubled Water Lillies?
>> Did Mona Lisa smile when she was getting her picture taken?
>> Yeah, Saggar’s actually known around the office as Coda Lisa.
>> It’s because my code is a work of art, right?
>> It’s because he’s not capable of smiling at all.
>> That too.
>> Even if you tickle him.
>> It’s unbelievable, oh, watch this.
[NOISE] I’m going to tickle you.
>> I’m going to tickle you.
>> Under your chinny chin, nope, on your ear.
[NOISE] >> I haven’t smiled since the early ’90s, bro.

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