I have written and reviewed thousands of pieces of software in my career.  At times I was only responsible for a small portion of a much larger project most other times though I was responsible for the final work product and aggressive production goals.

Having had the broad exposure to so many different programming platforms and techniques that I have had over the last 35 years, I have developed a pretty good understanding for what works and what doesn't.

Some projects have been easy while others required that I really pay attention , but the one common thread that I have seen throughout my career is that the easiest overall approach is to develop software the same way every single time.  In short, find what works and keep using it.

I am often asked "Why did you write this section like this, couldn't we make it simpler by just doing this??".  My answer, "I know that this approach will always work, and if the building was on fire I can finish and still get out in time."

If you have been in this business long enough you have had call backs and have had to fix issues that you never expected to occur, usually when you can least afford to.  As much as I dislike having a system or piece of software cause issues these are really great learning opportunities, if you are paying attention.

So, learn from your mistakes and write you software “Like the Building was on Fire”.

Stephen Carter