Monday, February 13, 2012

Putting crappy code online

I often put code for personal projects online. In part this is to share what I've done with the world so others can see how cool it is and maybe reuse part of it. It also makes it easier for me to find it in the future if I want to work on it further or see what I've done.

The downside is that sometimes if I'm just hacking something together, the code's a mess, and I worry that perspective employers may see this as representative of my work. If I was going to work on it or support it long term, I'd spend time to make sure the code was neat, but, for example, if I'm trying to get a robot to play instruments in 3 days, code organization has to take a back seat.

I guess the solution is to be clear about the state of the code and the reason for it when describing the project online or in the comments. Good developers should know that code doesn't always start off beautiful and if they value their time they should also know that it's not always worth it making it beautiful. As long as they know that I know it's a mess, I can't imagine they'll hold that against me.