Are You Trying to Write a Novel Without Reading Classics?

While writing some thoughts of mine about open-source software (for which I broke my 10-minute rule and haven’t finished for a few days >_>) I realized that there are two primary reasons I think open-source programmers tend to be better than the average coder:

  • They write more code.
  • They read more code.

While I’ve heard lots of contention over the first point, I don’t recall reading much of anything about the second. The topic just came up in my LUG’s irc channel, though, and I got two people to agree with me (and none dissenting, so I must assume I’m correct!).

@xiong_chiamiov realizing you suck is one of the most important parts of learning how to code, imo
@xiong_chiamiov which is why I strongly recommend /reading/ other people’s code on a regular basis

I often think that I’ve come up with a pretty cool solution, until I see what other people have done. I saw this with my “discovery” of the model-view paradigm, with my second irc bot, and repeatedly in my Programming Languages course (damn you Austin!).

Oh, but yes, back to what I mentioned in the title - programmers who don’t make a habit of reading other people’s code are like authors who don’t read others’ books.

So, whether it be a short story or an epic novel, find yourself some printouts and get reading.