Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Constantly learning what not to do

I'm sitting here looking at a JSP file which is over 5000 lines long. It has a massive amount of Java code and JavaScript scattered through it, along with some custom tag libraries. It generates an HTML file over 1.5 meg in download size.

The workstation I am using is a Pentium D with 1 Gig of RAM, and the tools I'm using can't cope so I'm resorting to simple text editors to make changes.

Once again, I'm spending most of my time at work learning (once again) what not to do. I'm one of the (apparently) few people who know not to do this kind of thing. But this is where I spend most of my time - fixing other peoples mistakes - and unfortunately this is a direct impediment to me learning new, better things and improving myself.

I'm really looking forward to the day a manager says:
"Instead of getting 3 developers who don't know what they are doing to build the system, and then bring someone good in to fix it, why don't we get one good developer to build it and 3 inexperienced developers to maintain it."

This attitude would mean:

  1. The good developer gets to learn and improve, instead of working on problems that should never have existed

  2. The inexperienced developers get to work on well written systems where they might actually learn what should be done

Does anyone actually think we might get there one day?

Does anyone know any companies that employ this strategy?

Until that day, I'll just have to learn 'what to do' after hours at home (few), and try and unlearn 'how not to do it' which I learn during the hours at work (many).

It's a crazy world.