Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Conversion Funnel

Clean Code Versus Great Code

I've had some interesting discussions with other developers about writing code recently. I often have the impression that some developers put too much emphasis on clean code. Don't get me wrong, i strive for clean code as well, and have written about its importance quite a lot in the past couple of years. But when i'm coding, clean code is my secondary goal and it could never take the place of my primary goal: making it work. And preferably, i want to make it work great.
A lot of people love to talk the talk when it comes to writing clean code. They'll stress their dedication to it, in some cases even wearing Uncle Bob's green band while coding so they'll never lose sight of what's incredibly important to them: writing clean code. Unfortunately, i've noticed on numerous occasions that many of these people don't always put as much emphasis on what the code is doing compared to how it looks. Sometimes they don't really bother to learn what their ORM is doing behind the scenes. Or they'll prefer to use something like Automapper to map entities to DTO's even though it is woefully inefficient compared to simply retrieving projected data. They don't always think about the cost of multiple remote calls or sending way too much data over the wire. And when they're not perfecting the art of writing bowling games over and over again, they just might hit the database in loop.
Clean code is not necessarily great code, nor is great code necessarily clean code. To me, great code is code that works great, performs great, is easy to understand and easy to change. In that order. I know all too well how important it is to easily understand code when you first read it, and to be able to easily and safely make changes to it. But no matter how easy it is to read or change, if it's not doing what it should be doing (including covering all the corner cases) or if it's taking more than its fair share of time to do it, it's not good code. Sure, it might be clean, but it's not great, is it?
That doesn't mean that you should indulge in premature optimization. Unless you have Neo-like skills in this coding Matrix, you're unlikely to be right in even a quarter of all scenarios that you want to optimize prematurely. There are however a few guidelines which will help you avoid most common performance problems. Most other situations are better left ignored until proven by a profiler to be a bottleneck. But you should at least think about what the code is actually doing and whether or not any downsides to that are worth the cleanliness. Don't hesitate to go with the slightly less clean looking code if that code makes more sense from a correctness and performance point of view.
By all means, strive to write clean code. But think twice before you sacrifice its ability to be great.

Save and retrieve Session data via Ajax using JQuery in an MVC 3 application

nopCommerce v2.00 released, A Open source shopping cart (ASP.NET MVC)

Highlight features:
• Architecture improvements
• Moved to ASP.NET MVC 3.0 (Razor syntax)
• Really pluggable architecture (just drop a plugin to the /plugins folder in your nopCommerce directory)
• SQL Server Compact support
• Code-First Development with Entity Framework 4 (data access)