The greatest productivity multiplier for programmers is a fast and continually available computer. The second-greatest productivity multiplier is simply to copy code.
You, a corporate programmer, have available to you, in the millions of lines of production source code in your companys source program libraries, a treasure -trove of proven and tested source programs, routines, and functions. All you have to do is use these existing blocks of source code to your advantageand your companys benefit. First you learn what that existing source does, and then you copy appropriate blocks of proven and tested existing source code into your programs. What the existing production source code does is define and execute all the critical business processes in your company
A programmer who doesnt work smart might write 200 lines of code a day (of source statements), perhaps taking ten days to write a routine 2,000-statement program (about 40 pages) from scratch. He would then still face the daunting task of making it work.
Programmers who work smart by using their experience and modeling their programs from code that has been written for a similar project might create a program that achieves the same objective, test it, and have it ready for client reviewperhaps even ready for productionin less than one day.
You need to be that smart programmer.
I advise you to review the production source code that is now running computing for your company. Youll find it in your companys production source library. Then use the technique that I and every other successful programmer I know use constantly: Copy the ( noncopyrighted) code of someone who has done a good job on a similar function or project.
Even if the programmer who wrote the code you are working on has moved to another job, you can learn from his workand see the codes results in a production environment. I learn the most by (1) observing the output of the executing program, then (2) reviewing the source program techniques and code that produced the results. I work backward from the result: I look at the answer to learn how the solution was developed.
A good programmer never really starts from scratch. He brings to the project his own thoughts, but hell also put into his program blocks of code that other programmers have createdjust as a cook often uses canned chicken broth rather than going to the labor of making her own stock. (Programming is different from cooking in this way: Homemade chicken stock tastes better than canned broth, but canned codethe code you copyis usually better than any code an inexperienced programmer can write from scratch.)
Corporate programmers are not paid to invent completely new programs; they are paid to support the company business goals as productively as they can. Remember this and you will prosper .