Re: Throwing down the glove [was Re: Nanotech/Opensource: OpinionsNeeded.]

From: Emlyn (onetel) (
Date: Mon Jul 17 2000 - 19:20:15 MDT

> Yes, the 10 lines/day metric includes all direct and indirect development
> and support costs, so it doesn't really reflect coding speed per se. Note
> that this type of accounting is how you apparently have the government
> spending $400 on a hammer and similar; they include the direct and
> indirect costs at all steps of acquisition/production rather than using
> the "on paper" purchase price. While arguably more accurate, it isn't an
> intuitive accounting methodology for the layman.

Life would be very easy if I could bill a ten hour day against ten lines of

> However, 80k lines of good code in 3 months does sound a bit far-fetched.
> 30k LoC in 8 months is very reasonable though.
> > I bet that 30,000 or 80,000 lines of code was riddled with bugs!
> It depends on the programmer and the environment. For example, I write
> nearly bug-free code using C on UNIX at an extremely high number of
> LoC/day, but tend to have much buggier code and program at a slower
> rate if I do something in, say, Perl. For me, these two environments
> pretty much represent both the best and worst case scenarios for
> environments that I commonly use. C++, Java, and various 4GLs fall
> somewhere in the middle. I'm sure there are programmers whose coding
> preferences with respect to bugginess are exactly opposite of mine.

Everyone creates bugs. When you are really good in a particular environment,
you end up attempting more complex systems; just as many bugs. I find it
entertaining that people pay you to create bugs, then pay you more to remove
them. It's like a job digging holes and filling them in again.

> I have a suspicion that people who are really good at programming have
> brains that are wired slightly differently than the rest of the
> population. Every really good natural programmer I have known was able
> to write nearly bug-free code very fast in their preferred environment.
> This doesn't actually speak for the efficiency of the environment, only
> for the particular way a programmer is wired. However, in my experience
> the majority of people working as programmers don't have an innate
> cognitive ability with respect to programming and tend to write relatively
> buggy code in any environment by comparison. Every successful development
> team seems to have at least one "natural" programmer on board, and a
> disproportionate percentage of the final codebase is typically written by
> these individuals.

Like an idiot savant, it's a mixed blessing.


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