What Bad Coding Can Get You

What Bad Coding Can Get You

Bad Coding can cause all sorts of hidden issues past the visual look of a site. Things in code can be much more complicated than parsing grammatical rules. I was told once upon a time that it’s like writing a 700 page book and missing a comma. None of it makes sense and you’ll have to start over. Little things can make a difference between something working and something going wrong.

When you hear coding what do you think of?

Coding is now another language in this society. Learning how to code is as important as learning how to speak Spanish, French or even German. Yet, imagine someone trying to speak Spanish by screaming English at the person. Or communicating in Spanish rather than asking for the bathroom you ask for a donkey. Being well-trained or seasoned in the skill of speaking a language avoids miscommunications.

We hear in business all the time how important clean code is. But often we don’t hear this message because price ($) will get in the way. Clean code is not cheap or affordable. There, that is the truth, I said it and I’m not sorry that I did, because I care about people not getting a bad deal.

Bad code can make building something harder, and cost more in the long run.

I come from an engineering background. So then missing one small detail like a well-placed gusset to strengthen a formed angle. Or picking the wrong type of structural angle could be devastating.

I worked for a company that designed giant tanks. These tanks would be filled with fluid from machines that need to be replenished. The tanks would hold thousands of gallons of this fluid that would be hot, and the size of the tanks were as big as a house.

One day a tank designed without consideration for this was filled with fluid. The pressure that will be applied to the walls of the tank was not considered. The materials used to construct the tank were inadequate. When tested it burst open like a cantaloupe been hit with a 50 caliber bullet.

A experienced structural engineer at twice the salary of the other engineers had to fix it. The result was he corrected the structural integrity issues. But in doing so, since starting over was not possible, the tank was not as useful. Thus, more money $$$$ spent above the existing budget.

A side note, I had nothing to do with that project when I was there that company. In fact none of the senior designers our the engineers were. It wasn’t cost-effective. Something to learn from when paying for services that need code to be written.

Why code often needs to be rewritten.

Code has evolved over time. It’s not written in the same way that it was. Though some things are the same, there are different versions of code from one language to the next.

Code is something that is very fluid, unlike English that seems to evolve and include things like twerk that I still hold in my opinion is not a real word. Today, people think that anybody can write code, which I don’t agree with because not everybody can learn to speak German. Code is something that can be taught, however there is a bit of attention to detail required to do it well. Much like graphic design, you can be trained as a graphic designer but your designs may not be up to par to the competition or just plain, well, suck.

Everybody knows the story of Mark Zuckerberg from the Social Network movie about Facebook’s beginnings. Even though the leap forward for Facebook was changing the name from The Facebook to Facebook was a help, it was Mark’s code that was not the cleanest written at the time. Other developers, investors, and programmers had to come in over years later and even rewrite completely what he had done in order to actually make it feasible for the social network to scale and support its 1 billion users.

The lesson?

It’s not a lone ranger project when coding anything. There has to be at least 3. One to write, one to test and one to re-write. It’s very time consuming to write code, even if you are proficient. I knew a .NET programmer that could write 700 lines of code in less that an hour. But someone had to check his work, and he was humble enough to admit that.

Don’t cut costs, it could cost you more than just a failed website, it could cost you a failed business venture.

I have been in marketing and technology for more than 20 years and have worked in many industries and worn many hats. From independent consultant, to cooking school, to establishing technology centers, it was a Spirit led adventure that landed me in the president & owner’s seat at Element 502.

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