TIP 44: Don't Program by Coincidence
How to Program Deliberately
- Always be aware of what you are doing. Don't be frog in boiling water.
- Don't code blindfolded. Attempting to build an application you don't fully understand, or to use a technology you aren't familiar with, is an invitation to be misled by coincidences.
- Proceed from a plan, whether that plan is in your head, on the back of a cocktail napkin, or on a wall-sized printout from a CASE tool.
- Rely only on reliable things. Don't depend on accidents or assumptions. If you can't tell the difference in particular circumstances, assume the worst.
- Don't just test your code, but test your assumptions as well. Don't guess; actually try it. Write an assertion to test your assumptions.
- Don't be a slave to history. Don't let existing code dictate future code. All code can be replaced if it is no longer appropriate.