I Used to be a Horrible Programmer… and Probably Still Am

I haven’t had a lot to write for the ol’ blog lately. Mostly because the majority of at-home free time has been spent watching hockey on TV or coding up some work shit.

And “coding up some work shit” is exactly what I’d like to address.

Somewhere around the last quarter of 2000, I started writing web apps for the intranet at work. You know how it goes… contacts database, log employee vacation and travel dates, keep track of project information, etcetera. Despite my experience with (and subsequent loathing of) Zope, I chose to write the new apps in Python… but through a framework that would work directly with Apache. That “something” was Webware for Python.

The Linux box upon which I’ve been creating, refining and damning those intranet applications for the past six years has been slowly-but-surely spiraling down into a world-crushing funk. There are myriad nefarious reasons to explain this, but I won’t go into them… that would be boring and serve only to alienate all of my readers except for Gregg.

The upshot here is that I’ve decided to completely replace the decrepit piece of shit running my shitty learn-as-you-go code with a nice, chunky box running the “latest” Linux operating system, the latest release of Webware, and the latest versions of my own code.

It’s that last part that’s been kicking me in the ass.

Everyone who writes code for a living (or for fun… nerds) will run into a situation where they have to edit or rewrite someone else’s code. It’s horrible. Your thought process will never be exactly the same as someone else’s. Your logical pathway to achieve a computational goal will not necessarily match that of the code’s last author… and figuring out what they were trying to program in effort to do something can be frustrating. Actually, more times than not, it boils down to “what the fuck were they thinking?!”


It’s so much worse when someone else’s code is your own… when you have to take a fresh look at your own years-old turds. You know exactly who wrote this piece of shit (you), and you can somewhat relate to the logical sequences that gave birth to this ultimately embarrassing example of “how not to code” (again, you). You have nobody else to blame for the molehill turned mountain recoding effort (guess who?).

So, if you’re wondering why I haven’t been posting anything here at the ‘Head lately, here’s your answer:

Rewriting my own code is horrible! What the fuck was I thinking?!