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Skimmable Code: Fast to Read, Safe to Change

Michael Schwern (eval Empire)
Programming
Location: Portland 251
Average rating: ***..
(3.89, 27 ratings)

Many people dismiss “best coding practices” as just making code pretty. Often times the practices are justified by hazy ideas of “readability” and “maintainability”. One concrete reason is to make code “skimmable”.

We rarely read and understand an entire project, instead we read just enough to get something done. Skimmable code makes it fast to read and safe to change. You can understand only a small part of the total project and yet know all you need to know about it. It allows one to work very efficiently on unfamiliar code.

You will learn the art of skimming and the role of best practices in writing skimmable code. Fuzzy issues such as encapsulation and function naming will be brought into focus. You will be shown tools to help see when a function is too complex or when code is too tangled up with itself.

Photo of Michael Schwern

Michael Schwern

eval Empire

Michael G Schwern has been programming Perl for over 10 years and is responsible for such modules as Class::DBI and Test::More. He writes for the Beautiful Code Blog as well as about Geek Ethology on http://geek2geek.info. In all probability, Michael has code on your computer. He can destroy CPAN at his leisure.

Michael currently resides in Portland, Oregon and has no intention of leaving. He runs Schwerniverse.com providing freelance QA, Software Engineering and Socialization consulting and training.

He owns no cars nor cats, though he kind of wants a cat.

OSCON 2008