97 Things Every Programmer Should Know

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''Create an account by clicking [http://commons.oreilly.com/wiki/index.php?title=Special:Userlogin&returnto=Special:Userlogout here]. You don't need an email invitation to create an account.''
 
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Hi!
 
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Welcome to the home page for developing the initial phase of ''97 Things Every Programmer Should Know''.
 
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''97 Things Every Programmer Should Know'' is intended to be a book of wisdom for programmers collected from leading practitioners. There is no overarching narrative: it is intended simply to contain multiple and varied perspectives on what it is that you feel programmers should know. This can be anything from code-focused advice to culture, from algorithm usage to agile thinking, from implementation know-how to professionalism, from style to substance, etc.
 
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Now that we have a suitable number of complete and high-quality contributions, we're looking to move to the next phase of the project, where we open up the existing items to the public for comment and further contributions. This looks like it will be mid-August 2009. Following that we will move to the final phase of the project, publishing a book with a selection of the 97 contributions that work best together.
 
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Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to contribute.
 
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[[Kevlin Henney]]
 
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== What Will Come of All This? ==
 
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This current site is for the initial phase of the project. In the next phase of the project, starting in August, O'Reilly will publish the contents of this wiki in a public and free web site off the O'Reilly properties. It will be free for anyone to access but you'll have to register to contribute or comment. Users (that's everyone who is registered) will be able to comment on other peoples contributions and create, edit, and improve their own contributions. Anyone and everyone be able to view the material without requiring registration. The web site will be strongly promoted by O'Reilly and all contributors will get full attribution.
 
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After this, O'Reilly will consider taking the next step, which is to publish a ''97 Things Every Programmer Should Know'' book. If a book is to be published, the best contributions and the contributions that fit best together will be selected and edited by [[Kevlin Henney | me]] and Michael Loukides, an editor from O'Reilly. The book will sell in book stores and on-line. It will be listed as edited by [[Kevlin Henney]]. If your contribution is chosen, any recommended edits recommended will be contributed back to the ''97 Things'' project for everyone to enjoy. Every contributor whose contribution goes into the book will be fully acknowledged in the book and will get a complementary copy of the book when it is published.
 
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To get a feel for this type of project take a look at another book in the series called [http://97-things.near-time.net/wiki 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know]. It's the flagship project for the ''97 Things'' series and is [http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596522698/ the first book in the series].
 
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== How to Make a Contribution ==
 
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* '''Each contributor is asked to provide one or more items (tips or bits of wisdom) that each have a title and associated discussion'''. The title should only be a 2 to 10 words long if possible and should summarize or capture the essence of the advice. In print, we want each contribution to fit on a two-page spread. Keep your discussion between 400 and 500 words. Any contribution under 400 words is unlikely to make it to the next phase of the project. And much more than 500 words will need to be edited down.
 
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* '''Create an account and author page'''. To create and edit a page you will need to create an account. You can then contribute your items and provide an author page. For more details on this see [[How to Get Started]].
 
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* '''Please read the first contribution'''. I've added an [[Please Read this Guideline before Making Your Own Contribution|example contribution]] in The Contribution section below to provide further guidelines on content style and to show you an example of what you will see when your are ready to add your own tip/axiom/pearl/guideline/contribution. Reading the initial contribution won't take long — it's not much more than 500 words!
 
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== Rules of Engagement ==
 
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* '''Contributors need to have an account and to create an author page'''. Instructions for doing this can be found [[How to Get Started | here]].
 
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* '''Minimize work in progress and work suggested but not started'''. Although it can be useful to put a place holder for an item, such as just its title or a couple of lines of content that are notes, please try to keep this to a minimum. It is more valuable to have submitted a few items that are complete and are of high quality than a long list of suggestions or partial submissions. Reducing work in progress makes it easier for you to see your own progress and for others to see the progress of the whole project. So, ideally, try to have no more than a couple of incomplete items at any one time.
 
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* '''Nominate others'''. Contribution is by invitation only, but you can nominate others for inclusion by contacting [[Kevlin Henney | me]] with your suggestions.
 
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* '''Editing ethics'''. You have the ability to add or change your contributions at any time. To be a good participant, please edit your own contributions '''only'''. Be very careful that you don't accidentally alter someone else's work. As editor, [[Kevlin Henney | I]] will limit my editorial changes to basic copy editing (spelling, punctuation, grammar, and formatting). I will discuss any other suggestions or comments on a contributed item directly with its author.
 
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* '''Protect the privacy of our site'''. Please keep this URL private sharing it only with people you invite personally to contribute. Don't link to it, digg it, put it on your web pages, send it out to a mailing list, etc. First, it's only temporary. This project will not live within O'Reilly commons indefinitely. Second, we'd like to keep this under wraps until we have a decent block of material to release.
 
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* '''Free of commercials'''. Please keep contributions free from references to specific products or technologies that compare their worth, or paint them in a positive or negative light.
 
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* '''Legal stuff'''. All contributions made to this site are required to be made under the [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license]. This means that by making a content contribution, you are agreeing that it is licensed to us and to others under this license. If you do not want your content to be available under this license, you should not contribute it.
 
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* '''Volunteers only'''. Contributions are made on a volunteer basis — in other words, contributors are not paid for their contributions. The contributions will be made easily available to everyone on the World Wide Web for free. However, remember that those of you whose tips are chosen for publication will get your name attached to your work, your bio published next to it, and a free copy of the published book. Any item you contribute you can also reuse in any form you wish, such as in a blog posting.
 
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* '''Submit only your own work'''. You warrant that all work that you contribute to this site is your original work, except for material that is in the public domain or for which you have obtained permission. Feel free to draw from your own existing work (blogs, articles, talks, etc.), so long as you are happy with the Creative Commons licence.
 
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== The Contributions ==
 
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Please add your contributions in the subsections below, placing them and moving them to the subsection that best fits the state of a contribution. For guidance on the mechanics of how to contribute an item, please see [[How to Get Started]]. The following is an example contribution you may find useful as a guideline:
 
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# (Example) [[Please Read this Guideline before Making Your Own Contribution]] by [[Kevlin Henney]]
 
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=== Completed ===
 
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Contributions in this section are effectively complete from the author's point of view, with some possible edits in the pipeline, and are ready to be moved over to the public site, mid-August. Items placed in this section must meet the word-count requirements (at least 400 words and not wildly over 500 words) and the associated author bio must also be complete.
 
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# [[Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source]] by [[Richard Monson-Haefel]]
 
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# [[Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say]] by [[Kevlin Henney]]
 
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# [[Restrict Mutability of State]] by [[Kevlin Henney]]
 
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# [[Speed Kills]] by [[Uncle Bob]]
 
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# [[Encapsulate Behavior, not Just State]] by [[Einar Landre]]
 
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# [[Only the Code Tells the Truth]] by [[Peter Sommerlad]]
 
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# [[Interfaces Should Reveal Intention]] by [[Einar Landre]]
 
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# [[Inter-Process Communication Affects Application Response Time]] by [[Randy Stafford]]
 
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# [[Test for Required Behavior, not Incidental Behavior]] by [[Kevlin Henney]]
 
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# [[Test Precisely and Concretely]] by [[Kevlin Henney]]
 
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# [[Verbose Logging Will Disturb your Sleep]] by [[Johannes Brodwall]]
 
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# [[The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs]] by [[Kirk Pepperdine]]
 
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# [[Keep the Build Clean]] by [[Johannes Brodwall]]
 
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# [[Use the Aggregate Design Pattern to Reduce Coupling]] by [[Einar Landre]]
 
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# [[WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks]] by [[Kirk Pepperdine]]
 
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# [[Testing Is the Engineering Rigor of Software Development]] by [[Neal Ford]]
 
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# [[Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly]] by [[Scott Meyers]]
 
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# [[Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand its Culture]] by [[Anders Norås]]
 
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# [[Small!]] by [[Uncle Bob]]
 
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# [[Don't Nail Your Program into the Upright Position]] by [[Verity Stob]]
 
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# [[You Gotta Care about the Code]] by [[Pete Goodliffe]]
 
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# [[Know Your Next Commit]] by [[Dan Bergh Johnsson]]
 
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# [[The Professional Programmer]] by [[Uncle Bob]]
 
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# [[The Three Laws of Test-Driven Development]] by [[Uncle Bob]]
 
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# [[Programmers Who Write Tests Get More Time to Program]] by [[Johannes Brodwall]]
 
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# [[The Single Responsibility Principle]] by [[Uncle Bob]]
 
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# [[The Longevity of Interim Solutions]] by [[Klaus Marquardt]]
 
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# [[Prefer Domain-Specific Types to Primitive Types]] by [[Einar Landre]]
 
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# [[Distinguish Business Exceptions from Technical]] by [[Dan Bergh Johnsson]]
 
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# [[Don't Ignore that Error!]] by [[Pete Goodliffe]]
 
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# [[The Boy Scout Rule]] by [[Uncle Bob]]
 
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# [[A Comment on Comments]] by [[Cal Evans]]
 
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# [[Don't Touch that Code!]] by [[Cal Evans]]
 
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# [[Own (and Refactor) the Build]] by [[Steve Berczuk]]
 
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# [[Deploy Early and Often]] by [[Steve Berczuk]]
 
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# [[Understand Principles behind Practices]] by [[Steve Berczuk]]
 
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# [[Acknowledge (and Learn from) Failures]] by [[Steve Berczuk]]
 
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# [[Hard Work Does not Pay off]] by [[Olve Maudal]]
 
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# [[Continuous Refactoring]] by [[Michael Hunger]]
 
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# [[Scoping Methods]] by [[Michael Hunger]]
 
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# [[Improve Code by Removing It]] by [[Pete Goodliffe]]
 
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# [[Learn to Estimate]] by [[Giovanni Asproni]]
 
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# [[Domain-Specific Languages]] by [[Michael Hunger]]
 
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# [[Learn Foreign Languages]] by [[Klaus Marquardt]]
 
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# [[Check Your Code First before Looking to Blame Others]] by [[Allan Kelly]]
 
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# [[Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix)]] by [[Allan Kelly]]
 
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# [[Floating-point Numbers Aren't Real]] by [[Chuck Allison]]
 
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# [[The Linker Is not a Magical Program]] by [[Walter Bright]]
 
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# [[Beware the Share]] by [[Udi Dahan]]
 
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# [[Consider the Hardware]] by [[Jason P Sage]]
 
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# [[Data Type Data Tips]] by [[Jason P Sage]]
 
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# [[Reinvent the Wheel Often]] by [[Jason P Sage]]
 
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# [[Improved Testability Leads to Better Design]] by [[George Brooke]]
 
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# [[From Requirements to Tables to Code and Tests]] by [[George Brooke]]
 
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# [[Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard]] by [[BurkHufnagel]]
 
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# [[Expect the Unexpected]] by [[Pete Goodliffe]]
 
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# [[Continuous Learning]] by [[Clint Shank]]
 
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# [[Don't Be Cute with Your Test Data]] by [[Rod Begbie]]
 
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# [[Choose Your Tools with Care]] by [[Giovanni Asproni]]
 
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# [[Decouple that UI]] by [[George Brooke]]
 
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# [[Know Your Limits]] by [[Greg Colvin]]
 
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# [[Do Lots of Deliberate Practice]] by [[Jon Jagger]]
 
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# [[Code Is Hard to Read]] by [[Dave Anderson]]
 
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# [[Simple Is not Simplistic]] by [[Giovanni Asproni]]
 
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# [[Missing Opportunities for Polymorphism]] by [[Kirk Pepperdine]]
 
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# [[Code in the Language of the Domain]] by [[Dan North]]
 
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# [[Make the Invisible More Visible]] by [[Jon Jagger]]
 
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# [[Ask "What Would the User Do?" (You Are not the User)]] by [[Giles Colborne]]
 
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# [[Balance Duplication, Disruption, and Paralysis]] by [[Johannes Brodwall]]
 
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# [[Methods Matter]] by [[Matthias Merdes]]
 
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# [[The Golden Rule of API Design]] by [[Michael Feathers]]
 
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# [[Don't Rely on "Magic Happens Here"]] by [[AlanGriffiths]]
 
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# [[Prevent Errors]] by [[Giles Colborne]]
 
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# [[Write Small Functions Using Examples]] by [[Keith Braithwaite]]
 
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# [[Reuse Implies Coupling]] by [[Klaus Marquardt]]
 
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# [[Hands on in All Phases]] by [[Klaus Marquardt]]
 
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# [[Implicit Dependencies Are also Dependencies]] by [[Klaus Marquardt]]
 
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# [[How to Access Patterns]] by [[Klaus Marquardt]]
 
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=== Planning to Complete ===
=== Planning to Complete ===
Contributions in this section are not yet complete, but the authors intend to complete them before mid-August.
Contributions in this section are not yet complete, but the authors intend to complete them before mid-August.
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# [[Reflection: Beauty or Horror?]] by [[Heinz Kabutz]]
# [[Reflection: Beauty or Horror?]] by [[Heinz Kabutz]]
# [[Know your IDE]] by [[Heinz Kabutz]]
# [[Know your IDE]] by [[Heinz Kabutz]]
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# [[The Best Code]] by [[Chuck Allison]]
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=== Not Planning to Complete ===
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Contributions in this section are not complete, and the authors do not intend to complete them before mid-August.
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# [[Duplicate to decouple]] by [[Klaus Marquardt]]
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# [[Two hours of thinking can save two months of coding]] by [[Giovanni Asproni]]
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# [[Learn reading and judging code, especially your own]] by [[Peter Sommerlad]]
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# [[Understand SCM]] by [[Steve Berczuk]]
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# [[Don't reinvent the wheel]] by [[Kai Tödter]]
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# [[Use the same tools in a team]] by [[Kai Tödter]]
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# [[Collection of Collections Is a Code Smell]] by [[Kirk Pepperdine]]
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# [[Planning for performance is not a premature optimization]] by [[Kirk Pepperdine]]
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# [[Structure over Function]] by [[Peter Sommerlad]]
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# [[Useful software is used longer than ever intended]] by [[Peter Sommerlad]]
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# [[Measure, don't guess]] by [[Kirk Pepperdine]]
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# [[Programming is a team sport]] by [[Pete Goodliffe]]
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# [[Get the names right]] by [[Steve Freeman]]
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# [[Plenty of domain types]] by [[Steve Freeman]]
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# [[Logging is a user interface]] by [[Steve Freeman]]
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# [[Don't handle errors, design them away]] by [[Michael Feathers]]
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# [[Protection is a social problem, not a technical problem]] by [[Michael Feathers]]
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# [[Start Small, Grow Big]] by [[Jørn Ølmheim]]
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# [[Beauty is in Simplicity]] by [[Jørn Ølmheim]]
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# [[Objects Want to be Asynchronous]] by [[Michael Feathers]]
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# [[There is no Up or Down in Software]] by [[Michael Feathers]]
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# [[Cohesion and Coupling matter]] by [[Tony Barrett-Powell]]
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# [[Allow faults to be diagnosable]] by [[Tony Barrett-Powell]]
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# [[Instrumentation for Quality Control]] by [[George Brooke]]
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# [[Apply Functional Programming Principles]] by [[Edward Garson]]
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=== Suggestion Box ===
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This subsection is not for authored contributions, but for ideas you feel would benefit from being written about. You may not have the time, inclination, or background to write up a topic but still feel that it deserves to be covered. If so, please add a bullet below. And if you are looking for ideas for what to write about, please look at the list below for inspiration!
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* Program to an interface, not an implementation
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* Exception handling
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* Don't put core application logic in the UI code
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* Build tools
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* Postel's Law and/or preconditions and postconditions
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* Type conversions and type compatibility (languages have rules that can both help and hinder)
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* Concurrency
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* Team and collaboration
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* Algorithms and data structures (the importance of choosing the right ones)
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* Hardware basics that can affect program performance (such as caching level and instruction pipelines)
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* Memory usage
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* The principle of least astonishment / law of least surprise
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* Long argument lists
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* Spikes, tracer bullets, and prototyping
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* Design Patterns
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* Code Metrics / Visualization
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== Literature ==
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[[97 Things Programmers Literature List]]
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Revision as of 00:17, 9 August 2009

Planning to Complete

Contributions in this section are not yet complete, but the authors intend to complete them before mid-August.

  1. One Binary by Steve Freeman
  2. Code Layout Matters by Steve Freeman
  3. Message Passing Leads to Better Scalability in Parallel Systems by Russel Winder
  4. Read the Humanities by Keith Braithwaite
  5. Take Time to Read Other People's Good (and Bad) Code by Craig Larman
  6. Integrate Early and Often by Gerard Meszaros
  7. Write Tests for People by Gerard Meszaros
  8. Reflection: Beauty or Horror? by Heinz Kabutz
  9. Know your IDE by Heinz Kabutz
  10. The Best Code by Chuck Allison
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