The dangers of clever programming

There’s often a temptation for coders to come up with the cleverest solution to a problem, one which accomplishes the greatest amount in the fewest lines of code, for example, or takes advantage of the most obscure features of the programming language. Such solutions may be intellectually very satisfying, but are often not ideal for other reasons. I really like this quote from Brian Kernighan, which I heard for the first time last week:

Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.

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