- A Programmer's Life

Is Programming just copy and paste

Why do some programmers never create their own programs just copy and paste other people's work?
This is a common meme - but I find it hard to believe that people can literally do that. You have to understand what you’re copy-pasting - know what to copy-paste - and do the work of writing code to glue it to all of the other bits of code around it.

I think maybe it’s possible in the case of making web pages with JavaScript - where each little button or action might be a more or less independent chunk of code - you can certainly find a handy bit of HTML/CSS/JavaScript to implement some effect on a button or something…and I’ll confess to copy/pasting some of those things from time to time.

But I can’t imagine being able to copy-paste some of the things I just did…making the wheels of a vehicle in a 3D model rotate and steer depending on the motion of the model and the shape of the underlying terrain. Where the heck would I find code to do that which I could copy-paste into the infrastructure of the rest of our million line application?

I don’t buy it…at least not for general purpose programming.

Maybe I buy it for small web front-end stuff…and there’s a reason why web front-end programming is probably the lowest paid job in the industry.