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  1. Prior to writing code, I will search the internet, I will ask intelligent questions, and I will realize that many of the answers I get may not be correct. I will test the answers and validate them before repeating it to someone else. I will not reinvent prior art without adding value
  2. Revision control tools are my staple, I will live and die by version control tools. Distributed, Centralized, Lock and Release, or Update and Commit...they all work and they are the foundation upon which I build everything. I will strive to learn how to use these tools to manage branches, tags, and how to properly share my code with my fellow programmers with whichever tool my team happens to use
  3. On all fronts I will respect the code that already exists and seek to understand why it is the way it is
  4. Giving credit when due, I will respect my peers, those who are less skilled, and those who are more skilled. I will not assume I'm smarter than everyone else, nor will I assume that esoteric and confusing work was the work of someone more intelligent than me. If I stumble across code that looks like a rabid squirrel ran across someone's keyboard I will seek out the author and understand the reason behind the incoherence
  5. Remembering that all programming languages and cultures are different, I will learn the idioms of whichever programming language I happen to be using. I will not code Ruby in Java, FORTRAN in Assembler, nor any other "language 1" in "language 2"
  6. At no point will I name classes, frameworks, files, or other artifacts for mythical creatures, movie characters, or other seemingly clever things. I will name things appropriate for the domain I'm working in (note, if you're writing a system working with the aforementioned things...you have a special dispensation)
  7. My comments and aspirations will be obtainable. I will never insert comments like //TODO or //FIXME unless I personally take responsibility for these actions and have the ability to rectify them in the very near future
  8. Mannual testing is a minimum, I will think about how to test my code before I write it. If possible with my tools, I will write automated and repeatable tests before writing implementations. A compiler is NOT a testing tool
  9. Every line of code will be tested...every time I change it...if it's difficult see previous item
  10. Realizing that code is complex, I will use an IDE, vi and emacs are for gunslingers or people on vt100 terminals. If I don't know what a vt100 terminal is, I will only use vi when ssh-ing into a remote server...and then only when necessary.
  11. Sed, grep, awk, less, vi, regular expressions, bash are things I will know and understand. Even if I have no need in my job, I will know them and love them (even when I hate them)
  12. Creative code styles are forbidden, I will respect the format. Nobody wins whitespace and bracing arguments, whatever is currently in place is what I'll use. Leave these debates for internet trolls and ivory tower architects, they're the only ones who should care
  13. One language or framework is the not always the best for everything. I will refrain from trying to solve every problem with whatever my favorite tool happens to be. I will politely and strongly argue logical and rational points about merits and shortfalls of frameworks and languages. I will not wage Jihad against languages and frameworks I do not understand
  14. Daily builds and checkins are too infrequent. I will constantly commit code and modularize my changes to illustrate progress at all times
  15. Everything I write will be obsolete in four years. I will not cling to code, coding paradigms or system metaphors beyond their useful lifespan

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Published at DZone with permission of Michael Mainguy, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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