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cultivate passion for everything else that goes on around programming
I recently heard an interesting quote from Ghandi:
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
Of course on a micro-scale, your actions might seem important and may have an influence on the near future. But on a macro-scale, your actions and everything you do as an individual, will not change a lot in the universe and will be just lost in time.
But then why should it be important to do something? Why should we even begin doing something, if we know for sure it will not be something that will change the world?
I will try to explain why by describing how this applies to software development. An average programmer doesn’t write that much code. Most of his time he is debugging, testing or reading. Writing new code might take about 10% of his time. Altering existing code might take even more than 10% of his time.
When a developer changes existing code, he has a goal: make the code do what it’s supposed to do. But this could be done in a quick & dirty way: just fix the code with a minimum amount of effort (because it will be just an insignificant change after all, isn’t it?). Even if a quick fix does the job and the developer might even get appreciation from his not-so-clever-looking-into-code manager, this simply isn’t enough.
You, as a professional developer, should do the following additional tasks when fixing a bug or every time you look over existing code:
Everyone of this actions are insignificant compared to the whole project. But it’s important that you Do Them Anyway!