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Reading Code You Didn't Write

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Mikaila Waters discusses how to read code you didn't write.

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Reading Code You Didn't Write

  1. 1. Reading Code You Didn't Write A lightning talk. August 20, 2015 mikailawaters@gmail.com
  2. 2. mikailawaters@gmail.comReading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk. Writing most of your apps from scratch can mean your code looks like this to you. SO FRESH AND SO CLEAN
  3. 3. mikailawaters@gmail.comReading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk. But soon, you’ll start to work with other people’s code, and that can look like this.
  4. 4. mikailawaters@gmail.comReading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk. I was used to this                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           And had to start looking at this...
  5. 5. How to dig in - suggested hack leveraging knowledge of the product workflow to navigate uncertainties in the code. Build a workflow map - figure out how the code works at a high level. Select a component of the workflow - get familiar with the code around that component, what files are involved, and how they work together. Use search to get really specific - find a snippet and use Cntrl Shift F in sublime to search all files for that piece. I located this partial buried deep in our code by looking for “Type a comment.” mikailawaters@gmail.comReading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk. A B C D1 D2 D2 E
  6. 6. One person drives while the other navigates. Pair Programming mikailawaters@gmail.comReading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk.
  7. 7. Hackathons Great for meeting people, and you can get really specific about the content. mikailawaters@gmail.comReading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk.
  8. 8. Also a great place to start meeting other people who are interested in the same work as you - civic tech, ed tech, polymer, node.js, sandwich eaters. Meetups mikailawaters@gmail.comReading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk.
  9. 9. Reading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk. Open source projects A great opportunity to learn something specific - so if you’re interested in a specific company’s work, check out a specific workflow mikailawaters@gmail.com
  10. 10. Open source projects Or if you’re interested in learning a specific framework or language mikailawaters@gmail.comReading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk.
  11. 11. The most important thing is to pick something you’re passionate about - then you’ll be fully invested in it’s success. mikailawaters@gmail.comReading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk.
  12. 12. Do unto others... You are now part of a community! If you want to read and work with solid code, you should write solid code as well. Follow best practices, and read the docs. mikailawaters@gmail.comReading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk.
  13. 13. Put notes in your code It’s extremely helpful for you, if you come back to your work after a few months or even weeks for others if they’re trying to decipher why you built something a certain way when you’re writing public work or API work, and others are going to check out your code if your company uses a documentation gem mikailawaters@gmail.comReading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk. source: xkcd
  14. 14. mikailawaters@gmail.comReading Code Your Didn't Write - A lightning talk. In Conclusion Reading other people’s code can be a challenge, but start high level and work your way towards specificity. Start building a network by pair programming, going to meetups and hackathons, and working on open source projects. Write code in a manner that would make it easy for others to understand. You’ll learn new things, meet new people, and could end up with a new job!

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