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Submission + - Where do you find good programmers? 1

Art3x writes: Kernighan said, 'Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.' My past four coworkers subscribed to the copy-and-paste method of code reuse, preferred long names (they sound more official), and built unrequested features so they "wouldn't have to code it later." The code samples from applicants indicate they believe the same. Where do you find programmers who believe in tight design, DRY, and less-is-more? I feel that it would be easier to find an architect, painter, or writer and teach him programming than to find a programmer and teach him good design — or even get him to acknowledge its existence.
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Where do you find good programmers?

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  • The answer is: "Middle school". You have to catch them before their agile minds are corrupted.

    A stitch, in time, saves nine. It is easier to teach correct thought than to unteach incorrect thought; habits are easy to make and hard to break; an easy innoculation saves a harsh cure.

    A brilliant instructor gives these youths the correct basics and then offers them the classical problems (without a clue to the difficulty) to see if their agile young minds can find some new insight.

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.