From a software engineering point of view, of course, a program must “work” according to its specifications. But this is not sufficient. The manner in which it is designed and written is as important as whether the program works. The ease with which the software can be changed to upgrade performance, meet additional specifications, or rectify errors that are later discovered is directly related to the quality of design and implementation. The “hot-shot” programmer who can quickly throw together cryptic lines of code that only he or she can understand is of questionable value. The programmer who boasts of using clever tricks to reduce the total number of lines of code has probably missed the point. Computer memory is relatively cheap, whereas the modification of software (a process greatly enhanced by program clarity) is generally expensive. Thus, given a choice between a little less economy of code or greater program clarity, the latter is often preferred.
From the ‘Software Engineering with Modula-2 and Ada’ by Wiener and Sincovec.
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