A response to ^P^.
While it's easy to bitch about bad programming, I think it's
important to keep in mind the underlying reason why there is
so much bad code being produced by incompetent or lazy programmers.
The bottom line is that, for any organization of any size, bad code
is vastly better than no code at all. This is something that
Microsoft realized a long time ago--something that partially works
today is preferable to something perfect tomorrow.
The productivity gains1 engendered by even bad code are so valuable
that companies continue to happily shell out the (generally large
amounts of) money required for the care and feeding of a software
development staff. Who cares if the program requires a single
$90,000 per year programmer to maintain if it also lets the finance
people get by without 8 $20,000 per year permanent temporaries.
While serious programmers2 generally have
little respect for the people who make a living this
way, it's important to remember that most of the time
it is good enough. And that, in the end, is all that matters.
1- According to the United States Government productivity
gains are accelerating. This is attributed by many professional
the effect of the massive computerization undertaken by
corporate America over the past 30 years, while others say that
the gains are just a blip and the long term trends remain
2- Who still hack assembler on ancient pdp-11's using ed(1)
Disclaimer- I make a living hacking Unix, I'm just sick of listening
to the real people with real lives, real kids, and real problems trying
to making a living writing silly VB scripts getting bashed. For most people
this stuff is just a job and there is nothing wrong with treating it as