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The Practice of Programming,

Note how the actual writing of the article was just a small part of this whole process.

Writing quality programs needs a similar process: Think. Research. Plan. Write. Validate. Modify.

Unfortunately, there is no good acronym for this. You need to create a habit to always go through the right amount of these activities.

One of the biggest mistakes beginner programmers make is to start writing code right away without much thinking and researching. While this might work for a small stand-alone application, it has a big, negative effect on larger applications.

Just like you need to think before saying anything you might regret, you need to think before you code anything you might regret. Coding is also a way to communicate your thoughts.

When angry, count to 10 before you speak. If very angry, a hundred.

— Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson’s advice applies to coding as well:

When reviewing code, count to 10 before you refactor a line. If the code does not have tests, a hundred.

— Samer Buna

Programming is mostly about reading previous code, researching what is needed and how it fits with the current system, and planning the writing of features with small, testable increments. The actual writing of lines of code is probably only 10% of the whole process.

Do not think about programming as writing lines of code. Programming is a logic-based creativity that needs nurturing.