mary’s blog

(where mary is always write)

What to do about programmers who don’t read code?

Please suggest a fitting punishment.

And while you’re embracing your inner Sith, allow me to wake your bloodlust by exaggerating how these people are slowly taking over the planet.

Why programmers who don’t read code are bad for your health

Programmers who are too lazy to read others’ code won’t come to learn the difference between good and bad code. Therefore, they will most certainly end up writing bad code.

As the amount of bad code in the universe increases, the chances of finding good code also decreases, making it difficult for other, willing programmers to discover and learn from great code that will restore their faith (and knowledge) in software development.

Driven by despair, hopelessness, and a programmer’s natural lack of social skills, the breed of enthusiastic, code-reading developers will eventually die out, to be replaced by evil spawns who think it’s funny and acceptable to say: “Ugh. Reading code is such a chore. I’ll just bang away at this keyboard and come up with something new! Something brilliant! Something straight from the mind of an inexperienced programmer!”

In the end, the world will be filled with these lazy, overconfident creatures who treat applications as one-night stands… and all of us will be plagued by buggy apps that leave us feeling frustrated and short-changed. (Like one-night stands? Don’t ask me. I wouldn’t know.)

So why does this concern you? Surely, bad code doesn’t affect normal people, right? Just those who deal with computer stuff?


There’s code written in your car, your phone’s address book, elevators, navigation systems, banking facilities, hospital equipment… the list is endless!

What happens if a bug in your phone sends an embarrassing message to all your contacts? When an elevator locks you in during an emergency with no way to override the doors (oh god, zombies)? When a vital, life-support equipment malfunctions on you or your loved one?

Are you going to twiddle your thumbs and say, “Gee, we must’ve done something evil like vote for what we think is right. Now God is punishing us in the form of a sloppily-designed computer application.

No. Of course not. That would be stupid.

So don’t wait for your turn at the long line for NBI clearance or when an ATM deducts money from your account but doesn’t dispense any.

Put on that Evil Thinking Cap now and suggest a fitting punishment.


There are 2 reactions to this story, leave yours below?

  1. JC on December 12, 2012

    Punished by shaking keyboards over their heads, keys side down, forced to look up.

  2. Deborah Reumann on December 26, 2012

    Reincarnated as a tech support staff person for a company that produces particularly buggy apps (…now who could I be thinking of).

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