Wednesday, September 3, 2008

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

I was looking at code I wrote not more then a few months ago, and I was amazed at how differently I would have written it today based on what I learned from the first time I wrote it. Then it got me thinking, what about all the code I've written way before then? All the code at my previous job, in college, in high school (yes I was writing software in high school), and in my spare time (hobby projects). I am sure all this code could stand some clean up, some re-organization, apply some standards, whatever. But I don't have the time.

Even a few days ago I passed on some code I did for a project for a Grid Computing course I took less then a year ago. At the time, I was rapidly writing this application to get it submitted for a project deadline. I never went back to clean it up. Looking at if after I shared it recently, I wondered how that reflected on me. Do people expect any software I've ever written to reflect my current abilities?

I sure hope not. Again, if you are sharing something, I guess it might be expected that the code be up to date. But I hope people are intelligent enough that programming skills are constantly evolving. You are never at the top of your game, or at your peek. You can always get better.

I hope that somehow all the code of my life will constantly show improvement. I think for that reason, I won't be updating any old code for the sake of style and clean up. If it works, its fine. It will give me something to look back on, like old photographs, to see how I've changed.

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