Laziness as a coding methodology
Some of you may be assuming from my lack of prolificacy on this blog that I am a lazy programmer. After all, if I'm to be taken seriously, I should put some effort into unleashing my vast hillbilly coding knowledge on the world.
Well, if you assumed I am a lazy programmer, you would be right. And I'll tell you why that's a good thing. Better yet, I'll encourage everyone reading this to be just as slack and shiftless as I am. So gather around, fellow idlers, and learn how you, too, can be a better developer by being lazy.
The main tenet of this new religion is thus: Somebody's already done it. That's right, hotshot. The problem you've been banging your head against a wall about the last three days? It's been fixed already. Three times over. In six languages. All you have to do is find it.
As a lazy programmer, you should be thinking not, "How can I solve this problem?" but "Where can I find someone else's solution to this problem?" And with sites like Google Groups, there is no excuse for not being able to find it. You need to do custom paging on a DataGrid? Find out how to query a CMS SDO package? Build a web part to index your porn collection? Trust me, it's been done. And better than you could have done it yourself, kiddo.
Now it's not always easy to find these solutions. No one ever said being lazy would be easy. The skills you will need to hone are how to make judicious use of quotes in Google and how to break down your issue into problems that already have solutions. Luckily, these are generally skills that can be learned. My favorite method is by hovering over someone smarter than I am while he or she solves a problem (usually one that I've given them).
The good part is that when you learn these skills, the amount of code you have to actually write is reduced drastically. Yesterday, I mentioned at work that I hadn't written a single line of code in three years. They all had a hearty laugh and said, "Oh, Coding Hillbilly, you're such a card." They'll come around...
I'll close with some some Windows configurations that have made me more productive at being lazy. Firstly, right-click your task bar and select Toolbars | Address. Expand it a bit and voila. You never need to click on the IE/Firefox icon again. For IE, you may want to go into Internet Options | Advanced and deselect the option to reuse windows, too.
Secondly, download TweakUI. It's got more features than any lazy programmer worth his salt would ever want to go through but the one I want to mention is Internet Explorer | Search. In that section of the powertoy, you can assign key words to websites you commonly search. I'll let you work through the details but the end result is, when I want to find, say, a long-lost relative, I type the following into the address bar on my task bar: google "coding hillbilly" "sister-wife" and up comes Google with that search already entered. I have similar keywords set up for Google Groups, IMDb, and MSDN (which I use Google for because frankly, it does a better job of searching the MSDN site than Microsoft does).
I could give you more details on how to set it up but I'm tired of talking to you people. Ping me if you're interested.
Coding Hillbilly Out!