Perspectives from the *other side* on Software, Management and Life

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Speed Programming

Ever wonder how typing speed helps increase productivity? Or how writing short hand helps improve understanding whats actually being said in class? These questions may seem unrelated, but they allude to negate a fairly common phrase of SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE.

I realized this in school, when fast typers were done with their assignments well before the rest; the content and quality was a different matter altogether :). But there are distinct advantages in being able to do things fast.

Programming language and architecture play a key role in the speed of the delivery. And when Speed Programming, certain tradeoffs are understood to be implicit. The biggest one being "Production Ready" ie the lack thereof. Speed programming can be defined as writing functional code quickly to resolve a problem statement. As mentioed earlier, such forms of code is generally far from "production ready", but it shows the proof of concept (POC) and is demo'able to prospective investors. Done craftfully, a prototype can land a decent investment that can be used to rework a production ready solution.
It is also a great way for a company to push out some of its ideas into the open and have business sponsors or clients decide which ones needs to be invested upon. An example is how Jonathan Schwartz made a case for Looking Glass using a prototype written by a single developer to woo the company's brains into focusing on the desktop. I am sure

A site with some decent suggestions on Speed Programming.

So if you're wondering if you're a speed programmer, check out the following site to see if you're able to do some of the problems in one sitting:

  1. MathWorks
  2. Stanford competitions
  3. CMU
As far as me, I've been involved with way too many enterprise software to think like a speed programmer. But the idea is neat and definitely a HUGE asset for an individual and their employers to have!


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