A diff is better then a comment

I know its a running theme, yahoo not so fun, startup good, but I have found something new to talk about. Ways in which Yahoo could have gotten better without loosing people. This is a simple way that I think large companies can keep their edge. A big difference between working at yahoo, and a startup has been the code review process. At Yahoo, it went something like you write code, and it gets reviewed by a peer. I always hoped I would get some good comments, but it ended up being a compliance review. The discussion tended towards checking off a list of do nots. The second we moved into the unknown, or needed a little more advanced knowledge, we were all out of our depth. I do think most tried to make it useful, but the best we could do most of the time was something like, “oooh, I read a blog post about this”, and then go on to give a hazy recollection of some dudes experiments in the latest version of google chrome. Reading, and experimenting are a good start, but sometimes you need and old guy, a neck beard, or a server rustler to just tell you what the answer is. I am not sure if that is what all startups are like, but I can tell you having computer elders is helpful. Not only is it helpful to have people who can just tell you what is good, or bad, but even better is people who fix your code. I feel sometimes it’s like the old days, when teachers used a red pen to markup a paper. But, its also like having an editor. Not only someone who knows more then you, but is willing to put the work in showing you how your code can be better. It feels good to know how to get better, sometimes finding that is the hardest part of moving forwards. Its not okay to have a bunch of red marks, but the red marks are a bunch of useful clues as to how to get better. I can remember sitting in code reviews wondering why they sucked, thinking that this is exactly what they are suppose to be doing. This is what good coders do. Now I know there is almost nothing we could be doing better, we need some real experience in the room.