Driving on the Left Side of the Road
We don’t have rules of the road for software development. You don’t have to stop at every red light or keep your speed below a specific limit.
Well, yes. We do have rules. If you write your whole program in only one file, someone will tell you that this is bad. At least I hope that’s the case!
If you only use variable names like
y, your coworkers will flag this during code review. Perhaps you already have static analysis tools that tell you before your coworkers do?
While we do not have a driver’s license, we do have formal rules that we should obey when writing code. A team has rules, and new team members need to learn them before trying to write any code. Otherwise, it could feel like driving on the wrong side of the road: Driving on the right side of the road feels natural to you if you’ve never done it any differently. But it can have dramatic consequences if everyone else expects you to drive on the left side.