When programmers are taught they are taught about how programs work. They are also taught how structure large projects so the parts work together – architecture or strategic programming.
But I don’t ever remember learning tactical programming. This is how to write code at the function and line level to decrease errors and increase things like understanding and readability.
I remember reading the book Code Complete after just a few years as programmer and being blown away. Why didn’t anybody tell me this stuff. You mean my variable names shouldn’t just be one letter? I should check parameters before using them? If I write the shell of a function first, I probably won’t forget to close a bracket or return a value.
I’ve decided to write a series of blog posts about tactics of coding. They have their own category on the blog now – Coding – Tactical.
Of course that means that all our code must be black, because everything tacticool is black.
Footnote: I like the first edition of Code Complete better than the newest one, but it is still good stuff.