Exploration Through Example

Example-driven development, Agile testing, context-driven testing, Agile programming, Ruby, and other things of interest to Brian Marick
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Mon, 28 Aug 2006

Two claims about clean code

Agile depends critically on programmers keeping the code clean. Lots of us know important steps in making code cleaner: remove duplication, rename methods and classes as their purpose changes, be wary of if statements, check if methods are composed, move methods that display feature envy, and the like.

I make two claims.

  1. A lot of the craft of being a good programmer is how you sequence those individual steps, how you make them work together.

  2. Standards of cleanliness ought to be situational. For example, consider an application in an extremely fluid domain, one where there's a considerable business advantage to having a code base that's ridiculously flexible, one whose capabilities suggest new features. Contrast it to a purely CRUD app. The first ought to be much more aggressive about naming, I bet, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the programmers favoring embedded domain-specific languages. (As someone once said, "All large systems eventually end up with a Lisp implementation inside them.")

I wonder how I could learn more about that? The best way would be to work with other people on several disparate systems for a long time—which is not in the cards.

## Posted at 11:17 in category /agile [permalink] [top]

About Brian Marick
I consult mainly on Agile software development, with a special focus on how testing fits in.

Contact me here: marick@exampler.com.




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  5. Extract fast tests about single pages
  6. Link checking without clicking on links
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