Professional Programmer Notes

or just call this my soapbox

Why reinvent the wheel?

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Because, you would like to.

We have all heard the saying, “Why reinvent the wheel?”, when we were faced with some programming challenge that seemed like a common scenario.  Because of the likeliness that someone else has solved the problem, we use our good friend Google as a knowledge base to seek out articles, blogs, and/or forum posts that will give us “the” answer.  We all have done it (or still do it).  There isn’t anything wrong with that, right?

Wrong.  It can prove detrimental if we’re not responsible enough to understand “the” answers that we find, as well as the pros and cons of their implementations.  See, the saying, “Why reinvent the wheel?”, makes an assumption that all wheels are engineered equally.  We know that is not the case.  In fact, at least one of us don’t even believe humans were engineered equally.

Let’s face it, oftentimes we are pressed for time, and are asked to deliver something functional in very short amount of time.  Our Google knowledge base can be a huge time-saver under those conditions.  But, are we fulfilling ourselves as coders?  Are we satisfying our appetite for innovation?  Most importantly, are we enjoying our work during those times.

This post may seem like an extension of my Developers vs. Coders post.  However, I am simply offering myself public counseling (for your benefit).  In the meantime, I challenge you to reinvent the wheel every once in a while.  You might enjoy it.

However, consider using your Google knowledge base when the solution turns up at  🙂


Written by curtismitchell

November 9, 2007 at 2:12 pm

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