In my relatively short career working with code in professional environments, I’ve certainly learned a lot about the right tools, approach, and workflow to follow in order to ship code that provides for the best user experience and helps achieve our goals.
It wasn’t always this way. And, truthfully, it still isn’t.
- I’ve brought down Greyscalegorilla with a fatal error that I didn’t notice until after returning from lunch.
- I’ve deployed pages that used filler content, never meant to be seen by the public eye.
- I’ve shipped plugin code that threw internal server errors for anyone who had it installed.
- I’ve included login credentials in my version-controlled software (albeit, it was a private repo, but still bad practice.)
- I’ve tailed logs and watched 404 errors pile up before my eyes in real time.
- I still, at times, resort to live-editing files via FTP to hotfix an issue.
At some level, these types of sloppy mistakes are unacceptable. I’d be willing to bet, however, that those same higher-level programmers got to where they are through making these same mistakes.
Scrappy programming has allowed me to get my work in front of more people than I ever would have by following the rules.
In return, I’ve received much better feedback, created a few commercially-viable products, and had a hell of a lot more fun experimenting rather than only writing code that conforms to big-business standards.
Test, hack, fix, patch, write, and try again.