Time To Junk Your Junk Code

by zen master

With summer in full swing it becomes harder to sit crammed behind a computer wresting with code for the best part of the day. Having some time off from work has given me the opportunity to start on my growing list of “things to do”.

I’m a bit of a tech junkie, and as such have lots of bits and bobs lying around. One item on my “to do” list was to sort this stuff out. I’ve never considered myself a hoarder, however as I pulled out those dusty old boxes of treasures I started reminiscing, ah an old school stick of ram, an old AOL dial up installer, my old embarrassing VB6 book, OK ignore the last one I’m going to burn it.

Looking at most of this junk, I have no idea why one earth I’ve kept onto them this long, I know most of the time its probably because it was out of sight (and so out of “mind”). Sometimes it was out of nostalgia for example a decade old CD photo slideshow that I had made and was so proud of. I hoarded some things like my ps2 to usb adapter because of that feeling that I “might just need it”.

A pile of junk

A pile of junk

The reality of course is that it is just junk, it has no real value and it is of no real use anymore. It just sits there taking up space, valuable space that I could use for other things.

I’ve thrown away three old PC’s, and planning on turning my current smartphone as a desktop replacement for one of the PC that blew up. It was only ever used for surfing anyway. The thought of using such a light weight and space saving approach makes me feel that my current workstation is such a dinosaur. I mean 2013 and we are still using wires and cables?

After a day of of cleaning up junk from my house, I got this amazing feeling of freedom. Like I just removed this massive ball and chain from my foot which I had been dragging along all this time. Things are much more cleaner and organised, only that which was actually useful has been kept (only a few items).

Going back to programming I happened to look at some old corners of one of my codebases. When I read through it, I got the exact same feeling as I did with my real world junk, a lot of it was useless, but remained because of the failed “I might just need it” reasoning. Other than nostalgia it was just dead code, very little of it was working code.

I sprang into action, killing the code with fire like a zombie slayer, taking delight at watching text disappear into the ether forever, I did a few rounds of refactoring and boy did that feel good! It was like finally scratching that annoying itch.

Conclusion

If you get some down time, go looking through your codebase especially the corners you have not visited in a long time, if you see any junk code, well just junk it because it feels damn good :)

Until next time, kill some junk code with fire!