Code Criticism

by keif on September 8, 2008

As a web developer, I get the wonderful job of constantly improving myself and my coding. I research, I test, I experiment, and I try to come up with consistent methods that, in my opinion, are a best practice in my work, and can be shown to other people to help them improve their skills. That being said, sometimes you are so damn busy you seldom have the time you’d like to properly coach (and be coached).

Personally, I love constructive criticism.

I really, really, really, do. It’s an excellent way to accurately better yourself – someone else critiques you. It’s even better when the person is someone you admire and respect – because then you’re more likely to take it to heart.

I know I’ve written bad code in the past (haven’t we all at some point?) and I know sometimes I’ll work on a bit of code and see a way to better myself, or improve upon others work (as I often do with mootools scripts, and jquery/javascript conversions). But I don’t just lock it away. I post on forums and groups. I send out emails to friends and colleagues. I ask for feedback, and I take feedback even when I don’t ask for it.

Because I have a desire to better myself. Because I recognize I am not perfect, and I can improve.

I could get all zen on you and go into a personal rant, but that’ll have to hold off for another day.

The point is – especially as a web developer in this new media age – you need to get criticism, give criticism, and improve your coding abilities. You can specialize – front-end, back-end, ATG, CSS, XHTML, WTF-Kung-Fu-BBQ, RoR, etc. etc. and so on and so on… but…

…unless you work on improving yourself you’ll always end up at the bottom rung.

  • Mike Gray

    Awesome points. Definitely agree. Working in a startup, it is always hard to take the time to refine what you have versus adding new features, but you just have to do it. As you learn, you refactor and continue. Balanced with not constantly refactoring and never adding new features. We are starting to use SmartBear Code Collaborator to provide a more formalized code review process so engineers can learn from one anothers’ best practices too. Just another way to learn from others and propagate good ideas.

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