quarta-feira, 1 de setembro de 2010

Programmer's standards?

An email message by Matthias Falleisen on Racket's email list got me thinking about what kind of standards should programmers hold themselves to.

For those that do not desire to follow the link above, here what was

Yes, this should be considered malpractice. Sadly, what happens in
reality is that (1) programmers and managers will ignore error
reports; (2) they will blame users for not using the product
properly; (3) they will blame users for ignoring the instructions on
not using the back button; (4) they will not understand that users
may have cloned windows and other stuff happens; and (5) eventually
the programmer will be promoted and his replacement will say we need
to port this program to JavaScript 17.2 and we need to hope that the
bugs just go away.

Programmers should be held to the standards of the medical
profession, but they are in practice held to almost no standards.

I agree and disagree with Matthias on this at the same time. You see,
it really depends on what you are programming that influences what
your standards should be. Computers are a media to represent and
manipulate media, and that is the reason they are incorporated into
every corner of our modern society.

What I believe is that the programmer should use the standards of the
profession that will use their software. So a banking application
programmer's should be held responsible to the same bar as the banking
managers. Same for doctors, musicians, architects, etc.

But what about programmers that build software for programmers? Well,
that is the realm of Gödel's Law, and that realm always make my head spin a bit.

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