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Matti Bar-Zeev
Matti Bar-Zeev

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Everybody’s free (to write code)

A coder's take on Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)”

Ladies and gentlemen of the abstract class
Write tests
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, testing would be it
A long-term benefits of testing have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your product, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your product
Until you moved on, but trust me, in 3 years, you'll look back
At releases you’ve made and recall in a way you can't grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulously you really coded
You are not as junior as you imagine

Don't optimize for the future
Or optimize, but know that pre-optimization is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing Bubble gum
The real troubles in your code are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. On some idle Tuesday
Do one merge every day that scares you
Saying, don't be reckless with other people's PR
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours

Code review

Don't waste your time on estimations
Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind
The race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself
Remember approved PRs you receive, forget the rejects, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your completed side projects, throw away the uncompleted ones


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your career.
The most interesting programmers I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their career
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't
Get plenty of sunlight
Be kind to your fingers
You'll miss them when they're gone

Maybe you'll commit, maybe you won't
Maybe you'll merge, maybe you won't

Maybe you'll get fired at 40, maybe you'll dance the 'Funky Chicken'
On your company’s exit
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's

Enjoy your coding skills, use them every way you can
Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It's one of the greatest instruments you'll ever own
Debug, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the manual even if you don't follow them
Do not read financial magazines, they will only make you feel spent

Get to know your keyboard shortcuts, you never know when they'll be gone for good
Be nice to your colleagues, they're your best link to your PR
And the people most likely to stick with you when it breaks production
Understand that colleagues come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Accept certain inalienable truths
Performance will decline, managers will demand, you too, will get burnt out
And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you started
Performance was great, managers were aspiring
And juniors respected their seniors
Respect your seniors

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it's worth

But trust me on the testing

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