Friday, August 04, 2006

Thin slicing and snap judgement on software - Blink and Smell

I've been listening to an audiobook, "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell recently.

I just wondered if we can judge software quality by thin slicing and snap judgement. Martin Fowler uses the word, "smell". I even saw him holding his nose saying, "Oh! It smells!" looking at a code at one conference. I think we can extend it to see a positive sign of software quality, maybe browing a word from "Blink".

One thing I found from my past experience of looking at other people's code is that the code that is well formatted and that is following some convention - i.e. easier to read, has higher quality, whereas the code written by people who don't care about any of them tends to have lower quality. And it doesn't take long to sense it.

I don't claim that this kind of judgement is accurate or anything. But I think it's interesting to explore it.
(By the way, of course, I write test first and the main judgement should be done by running tests.)

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