alacrity in action

At my “Where bad code comes from” talk at ACE2012 I have challenged the audience to take some follow-up actions to solidify their learning. If you were in Kraków and have decided to take up this task please use the comments thread of this post to share your experience, ask questiones and get more ideas.


  1. how can one tell a good painting from not so good ones? I think that it is the same as how can one tell good code from bad code. The famous saying about playboy magazine may work here. “when you see it, you will know.” It is hard to describe, as you have mentioned in your presentation.

  2. Hi Helen,
    Thank you for your comment. I agree it’s often difficult if not impossible to just decide what bad code really is. Of course there are some indicators that the software craftsmanship movement would suggest (like cryptic names, long classes, etc..) and those are relevant and important but I want to focus more on the effects of code. This would still be subjective, but easier to judge if a piece of functionality is not meeting our expectations or causes problems. My main interest is in how we trace these to failures in human communication in order to learn and improve.

  3. Sandi Metz examines the role of reciprocity in the genesis of bad code:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.