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Old 21st December 2012
J65nko J65nko is online now
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Default What Compsci textbooks don't tell you: Real world code sucks

From http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12...are_disasters/

Quote:
There’s a kind of cognitive dissonance in most people who’ve moved from the academic study of computer science to a job as a real-world software developer. The conflict lies in the fact that, whereas nearly every sample program in every textbook is a perfect and well-thought-out specimen, virtually no software out in the wild is, and this is rarely acknowledged.

To be precise: a tremendous amount of source code written for real applications is not merely less perfect than the simple examples seen in school — it’s outright terrible by any number of measures.
For those not familiar with the term 'cognitive dissonance:
Quote:
Cognitive dissonance is a term used in modern psychology to describe the feeling of discomfort when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions: ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions. In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel "disequilibrium": frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc.[1]

The phrase was coined by Leon Festinger in his 1956 book When Prophecy Fails, which chronicled the followers of a UFO cult as reality clashed with their fervent belief in an impending apocalypse.[2][3] Festinger subsequently (1957) published a book called A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance in which he outlines the theory. Cognitive dissonance is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.
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