Your code is a liability.

Every line you write means more for someone else to read, digest and understand. Each complex ‘clever’ regular expression represents another few minutes per team member trying to interpret what you wrote and why you wrote it. Every line you add limits your project’s responsiveness to change.

Only the feature that your code provides is an asset. The more that we reduce the amount of code we write, the lighter weight and more agile our software. The easier it is to understand, the less of a intellectual drag it is on the team.

There used to be a lot of talk about getting into the “programmer zone”: that place of heightened focus where time rushes by as if a blur, and the number of lines of output a programmer produces per hour skyrockets… except that lines per hour was never the best measure of coder output to begin with. All that coder is doing is dragging down the project faster. Let’s hope they’re adding useful features during that process!

It’s my belief that the best code is written in conversation, not in the “zone.” A team discussion about the architecture and the arrangement of the different concepts into the simplest and lightest code structure we can fathom will always improve on our own ideas, when we implement them in isolation at a ridiculous rate.

Lightweight, lean coding like this sets our features free from the drag of the code and allows them to soar: responsive to change requests, and easily debugged as the code isn’t difficult to understand.