Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Programming magic: Rituals and habits of effective programmers

"Programmers may not think that their rituals are unusual, but if you swear that your code is less buggy if you recite it aloud or you prepare for coding by listening to certain music, don't be surprised if you get a couple sideways glances. In a recent ITworld article, Issac Kelly, Lead Developer at, explains his routine and why it works: 'To me, programming is really the 'last mile' to getting something done. When I do the planning and specifications, I go on lots of walks, take lots of time with my wife, and really do as little work in front of the computer as possible. The more I plan (in my head, on paper, on a whiteboard) the less I program; and all of my rituals are to that end.' His ritual goes like this: 'Before sitting down to a coding session, he gets a big glass of water, takes everything off of his desk, and closes out all programs and e-mail, keeping open only his code editor. The office door is shut, and some sort of music is playing ('typically an instrumental only, like my 'Explosions in the Sky' pandora station,' says Kelly).'"

Read the full story here.