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Lane Wagner
Lane Wagner

Posted on • Originally published at

The Zen of Proverbs

20 rules of thumb for writing better software.

  • Optimize for simplicity first
  • Write code for humans, not computers
  • Reading is more important than writing
  • Any style is fine, as long as it's black
  • There should be one way to do it, but seriously this time
  • Hide the sharp knives
  • Changing the rules is better than adding exceptions
  • Libraries are better than frameworks
  • Transitive dependencies are a problem
  • Dynamic runtime dependencies are a bigger problem
  • The surface area of an API is a liability
  • Returning early is a good thing
  • Plain text is usually best
  • Compiler errors are better than runtime errors
  • Runtime errors are better than bugs
  • Tooling is better than documentation
  • Documentation is better than nothing
  • Configuration sucks, but so does convention
  • The cost of building a feature is its smallest cost
  • Types are one honking great idea -- let's do more of those!

Homage and references

Any color the customer wants, as long as it’s black.

-- Henry Ford (maybe)

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