The Yearly WTF

I’ve never been a fan of The DailyWTF

While I can appreciate that it might elicit an occasionalchuckle, and may even serve as a “here bedragons!” warning of the dangers of bad code or UIs,something about it just rubs me the wrong way.

The root of my dislike, I think, is my feeling thatthere’s a bit too much of a schadenfreude thing goingon much of the time. While I’m sure that the site is run andvisited by a lot of great people, many of the regulars seem alittle too eager to bask in the foibles of others, presumablyimagining themselves righteous fonts of perfection and clarity.

Even themost benign and negligible choice of bitmasks isapparently worthy of mockery.

That would be fine and good, and it would just be a site I don’tvisit, however a bit of a meme lately (given that there’s a currentSuperStar! Developer! thing going on) issomething along the lines of “Do you want a great programmer,or someone whose code appears on TheDailyWTF?” This is arepeating theme: On the one side are the great programmers, and onthe other are the people endlessly bound to give TheDailyWTF sourcematerial.

Do people really think such a schism exists? Is the impressionthat great developers are infallible, never creating any bad codeat all, ever? Are bad programmers just stumbling from one WTFto another?

Of course not.

I fear the output of any developer who claimed that they’venever written bad code. I would fear them because they’reeither bald-faced liars — believing that simply saying itrepeatedly will somehow convince others into this fiction– or they’re completely blind to their own weaknesses.

Every developer in the real world has had bad days, brainfaults, or bad interpretations of new languages, environments orlibraries. It’s simply a given of the profession.

Building a myth of perfection fools no one.