How far can stack [LIFO] solve do automatic garbage collection and prevent memory leak ?

John Passaniti john.passaniti at
Wed Aug 25 22:44:46 CEST 2010

On Aug 24, 9:05 pm, Hugh Aguilar <hughaguila... at> wrote:
> What about using what I learned to write programs that work?
> Does that count for anything?

It obviously counts, but it's not the only thing that matters.  Where
I'm employed, I am currently managing a set of code that "works" but
the quality of that code is poor.  The previous programmer suffered
from a bad case of cut-and-paste programming mixed with a
unsophisticated use of the language.  The result is that this code
that "works" is a maintenance nightmare, has poor performance, wastes
memory, and is very brittle.  The high level of coupling between code
means that when you change virtually anything, it invariably breaks
something else.

And then you have the issue of the programmer thinking the code
"works" but it doesn't actually meet the needs of the customer.  The
same code I'm talking about has a feature where you can pass message
over the network and have the value you pass configure a parameter.
It "works" fine, but it's not what the customer wants.  The customer
wants to be able to bump the value up and down, not set it to an
absolute value.  So does the code "work"?  Depends on the definition
of "work."

In my experience, there are a class of software developers who care
only that their code "works" (or more likely, *appears* to work) and
think that is the gold standard.  It's an attitude that easy for
hobbyists to take, but not one that serious professionals can afford
to have.  A hobbyist can freely spend hours hacking away and having a
grand time writing code.  Professionals are paid for their efforts,
and that means that *someone* is spending both time and money on the
effort.  A professional who cares only about slamming out code that
"works" is invariably merely moving the cost of maintaining and
extending the code to someone else.  It becomes a hidden cost, but why
do they care... it isn't here and now, and probably won't be their

> If I don't have a professor to pat me on the back, will my
> programs stop working?

What a low bar you set for yourself.  Does efficiency, clarity,
maintainability, extensibility, and elegance not matter to you?

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