Whether it works is the third most important thing

What is the most important thing about the code that you write?

It is not that it works.

It is that it is clear and comprehensible. If we can understand it we can make it work.

What is the second most important thing about the code that you write?

Still not that it works. The second most important thing is whether it is properly tested.

Without automated tests we can’t even tell whether it works. But if it’s comprehensible, in a pinch, we can write the tests.

Whether it works is at most the third most important thing about the code you write. If it makes sense we can write the tests. If it’s tested we can fix the code.

Does this mean you can deliver code that doesn’t work? Of course not. We demand that the code works. And therefore also that it is clear and comprehensible and it is tested.

If there is anything controversial about this it is the ordering of numbers one and two, not the position of three.

To unpick an important subtlety however:

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