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"The best coders keep more of what they have produced, while the worst constantly have to rework whole sections."

I'm bemused by this sentiment. I'm strongly in the 'worst' camp there, as are the two best programmers I've ever known. Perhaps he's just misstating his point.

The best programmers keep more because they're constantly reworking, while most people are too invested in their code, too afraid to 'lose their investment' by changing it past a point. As a result they end up needing to start from scratch all the time. Or using other people's code that they understand even less.
ARE geniuses just born with their brains wired differently? Or do their early experiences fashion a richer set of neuronal interconnections that let them view the world through a s...
Venkatesh Rao's profile photoKartik Agaram's profile photo
I think the best coders working on ordinary as opposed to tough problems will likely get it right the first time. Reworking happens when working at the edge of your skill level. Makes sense that most 1x coders are on their edges, but few 10xers are that challenged. There's more routine gruntwork to be done out there than edge stuff.

This is my best-case reading of the argument. The writer might mean something simpler and more flawed in the obvious way you are hinting at.
Good writers revise more than bad ones[1]. Even if the idea you're communicating is 'routine gruntwork', there is still lots of nuance and context to consider in deciding between all the different fractally-available options. Code is just like writing in this respect. Yes it has to run on a machine, but in practice that consideration is soon swamped by other realities: if it's used it needs changing, if it needs changing it needs understanding, and the reader trained on natural language.

I fixed a bug this morning -- and then spent 3x the time thinking about how to express the whole more cleanly while taking the fix into account:

This conversation has helped me distinguish revising emails from your idea of rework.

Hmm... I suppose that's possible. May have to do with lower standards in different contexts. I care much less about Quora answers than blogs, and less about blogs than critical emails. Revision levels reflect pragmatic importance assessments as well as sensitivity to flaws/room for improvement. I try not to be a perfectionist where it doesn't really matter.
Yeah you could go too far and become anal-retentive, I suppose. Maybe I'm already there :) But most of us have the converse problem; in general #revisions correlates with quality.
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