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Copy paste developer 5 reasons to not be there

boobo94 profile image Bogdan Alexandru Militaru Originally published at ・3 min read

Don’t be a copy paste developer! What this means ? You should stop searching over Google or Stack Overflow, questions that are interesting for you. Find the answer and put that code directly in your app.

I sadly remember, when someone shown me his computer and CTRL and C keys where fully white. The letters were not visible anymore. I know, sounds crazy, but if you’re one of those, please stop it because you can ruin your creativity and stop your learning process. When you decide to use someone else code can be the best decision, if that code is correct or can affect your application. The problem is that you’re not able to appreciate the benefits.

In the following steps I’ll try to give you 5 arguments to stop being a copy paste developer:

1. Compromise maintainability

When you copy someone else code, you first need to understand that code and see if it works for you or not. If you don’t understand it, is bad for you, because you don’t know in the future what’s that piece of code for and you compromise the maintainability.

2. Redundant code

If you don’t understand the code, there is a possibility to add some extra code, which is not necessary for you. Maybe it was for someone else, but not for you, you shouldn’t be a copy paste developer. Don’t increase the code base and the processing time for nothing.

3. Liable for bugs

If you don’t try to understand that code and remove unnecessary blocks, that code can be a future bug. Because that code was not written for that application, there is a big possibility to behaves strange.

4. Missing configuration

We assumed that code was written wrong or could have some bugs, but maybe not. Maybe that code is the best code written ever by someone for a specific task, but you or your instructor forgot to mention the full configuration for that code to work. In situations like that you assume that the code is good, a lot of people are saying how good and suitable is that code for them, but not necessary for you.

5. Stops your growth

The best argument for you, to stop copy and paste random code is because stops your growth. Whenever you succeed on your own to create some code, your skills grows. You find a solution and even if that solution is not entirely your creation, you grow. Whenever you decide to paste some code in your application without understanding, you continue to don’t know something which will affect you for sure again, in the future.

Growing like a pro, not a copy paste developer

You can still search for information, look how others do it, search for some blockers, but understand it first. That’s how you can grow.

Don’t paste like a pro, instead try to understand what you’ve seen. Replicate that code in your application, even if you copy and paste directly or make some changes. Be sure to adapt the code and fits correctly into application.

Personally I don’t copy and paste code, I just do that with ideas. I like to stole ideas and to reshape them for my own purpose. I search on Duck Duck Go, GitHub, stack overflow and others.

Let me know in comments if you’re a copy paste developer and why you don’t stop it. If you like the article then share it with others.

Discussion (2)

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iuriimednikov profile image
Yuri Mednikov

You can use mouse to copy-paste via popup menu - this will save CTRL and C buttons. Joke. Seriously, I agree with you. First of all, there is no guarantee that code you found in responses:

  • works
  • is not outdated (e.g. works)
  • does not depend on something outside of scope (e.g. works)

Read documentation first - is the best solution. Personally I go on stackoverflow only for really narrow things, I could not find solution myself with docs (either by rare stack, either by lack of documentation itself)

boobo94 profile image
Bogdan Alexandru Militaru Author

Totally agree with you. I cannot see a problem by trying to find a solution on Stackoverflow. But we need to move forward and to understand that solution and fit it into our code.