How to be proud of your work

My name is Sven Eden, I was born in 1976 and am working as a software developer. For me, being “proud of your work” began with realizing what Martin Fowler put in perfect words:

Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.

Avalanche “Yamakuzure”

Software development is more than artisanry, it is an art. I am not talking about ui design, but about how to write source code.

Although I wrote my first BASIC program in 1986 on a Commodore C16, and my first C program in 1990 on an Amiga 500 using Aztec C 5, I didn’t publish my first Public Domain project before 1998. Unfortunately only its latest incarnation, Demolition Man V1.5 for Quake, SpeakersII Edition, is still available.

Since then a lot of projects followed. Some were cool, some were just for the sake of themselves, some were outright idiotic. But over the years something became clearer and clearer: “Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.


How it began

In 2006 I had a look at a game called “Atomic Tanks“. I found several game playing issues that I fixed and sent patches in. Sorry, but the old Atomic Tanks forums are long gone. Although I later rewrote the AI and the in-game menu system, plus adding a tiny physics engine for debris rendering, the important detail here is a mistake. At one point a value, that ought to be random, was always the same. I simply had initialized the (pseudo) random number generator with a zero before getting that value.
To remedy this, and to help with all the cases where you need random numbers in a small range only, I wrote a tiny helper class: CRandom. Although it wasn’t really needed for Atomic Tanks, it helped me elsewhere, and it grew.

Until December 2007 I had added a few more tools and decided to create a header based library. However, I needed a name for it. That’s when I started to use the term “PrydeWorX“. The simple reason was, that I was damn proud of that first incarnation of my pwxlib. And as my most successful Battletech Clan Warrior just earned his blood name “Pryde“, I found it appropriate to use that one to express my feelings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *