Saturday, January 14, 2006

Stupid Programmer Tricks

I've been writing SAS (statistical programming language used by academics, among others) for about 13 years now. All false modesty aside, I'm pretty good at it - I know a lot of stuff, write pretty good code, and even (in my better moments) comment it fairly well.

One of the first lessons I "learned" when I started programming was to save changes to my programs regularly in case something happens (power goes out, the mainframe crashes, etc...). When I'm being good, I may have a save the current version in a new file every hour "just in case". Then, at the end of the day, I delete all the old versions and just save the daily changes.

Of course, when do I forget to save my changes? After I just put in about 8 hours of work. To make it more fun, the program takes about a half hour just to get to the point of the program where I made the changes. So, I not only wasted the 8 hours, I also have to wait 30 minutes just to get set up.


At least I can gripe about it to y'all while I'm waiting.

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