I sat down this weekend, planning on getting a load of new stuff written. It was only on sunday that I realised something shocking, I was hacking!
I would have never believed it, but I was. One of my pet hates is designing "on the fly", it rarely if ever works, in my opinion. So there I was, literally hacking away at code, cutting and pasting like there was no tommorow, I had NO IDEA where I was heading, had no way of telling if I was on schedule, or even doing something useful.
There was a time in the games industry when hacking was almost common practice. You sort of delivered "by accident" almost, you added things, tried them, took them out, tried something else in an endless loop. Now I'm certainly not against iterative refinement, or even prototyping and testing idea's, but when you're just coding away at something without a real idea of what your goal is, its time to sit back and take a look from OUTSIDE the code.
I think one of the telltale signs of hacking is jumping around in your code. If you have to change to different source files all the time, then its a sure sign that your hacking something about.. Maybe I should write a macro for devstudio that counts the source file changes per hour vs the number of source files and alerts me with a messagebox when it thinks I'm hacking.
The problem with hacking is that you tend to get "code blinkers". That is, you only see the code, not the end product you are trying to produce. One of the best signs of a good programmer is thier ability to produce code that does ONLY what its supposed to, but produce it DAMN fast. Ive seen that recently with some colleagues, compared to my performance, they dont mess around, they just get in there and stomp out some code to do ONLY the job in hand. I find myself tending towards the "I'll just add this function, it will be useful somewhere" school sometimes, I intend to stop it forthwith.
On a happier note, I got a spacepen!! (thanks Ajith), I'll go buy a pencil tommorow and see which one is better :))
Welp, short one, but I thought it might be familiar to some..