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This Q&A is part of a weekly series of posts highlighting common questions encountered by technophiles and answered by users at Stack Exchange, a free, community-powered network of 100+ Q&A sites.

Consistency vs. best practice: they are two competing interests any time a dev is working on legacy code. If LINQ hasn't been used previously, should it be used today? "To what extent are patterns part of code style," Robert Johnson asks, "and where should we draw the line between staying consistent and making improvements?"

Robert Johnson continues: "With the hypothetical LINQ example, perhaps this class doesn't contain it because my colleagues are unfamiliar with LINQ? If so, wouldn't my code be more maintainable for my fellow developers if I didn't use it?"

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This Q&A is part of a weekly series of posts highlighting common questions encountered by technophiles and answered by users at Stack Exchange, a free, community-powered network of 100+ Q&A sites.

Where have all the user-defined operators gone? tjameson can't "find any procedural languages that support custom operators in the language," he writes. "There are hacks (such as macros in C++), but that's hardly the same as language support." Is there any good reason we can't write our own operators? See the original question here.

Are you experienced?

Karl Bielefeldt answers (94 votes): There are two diametrically opposed schools of thought in programming language design. One is that programmers write better code with fewer restrictions, and the other is that they write better code with more restrictions. In my opinion, the reality is that good experienced programmers flourish with fewer restrictions, but that restrictions can benefit the code quality of beginners. User-defined operators can make for very elegant code in experienced hands, and utterly awful code by a beginner. So whether your language includes them or not depends on your language designer's school of thought. Related: "How are operators saved in memory?"

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This Q&A is part of a weekly series of posts highlighting common questions encountered by technophiles and answered by users at Stack Exchange, a free, community-powered network of 100+ Q&A sites.

Dokkat appears to think that databases are overused. "Instead of a database, I just serialize my data to JSON, saving and loading it to disk when necessary," he writes. "All the data management is made on the program itself, which is faster AND easier than using SQL queries." What is missing here? Why should a developer use a database when saving data to a disk might work just as well?

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user396089 is more than competent when it comes to writing code in "bits and pieces." Planning and synthesizing that code into a complex, coherent app is the hard part. "So, my question is, how do I improve my design skills," he asks. And to that, some more experienced programmers answered...

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Ankit works in J2SE (core java). During code reviews, he's frequently asked to reduce his lines of code (LOC). "It's not about removing redundant code," he writes. To his colleagues, "it's about following a style." Style over substance. Ankit says the readability of his code is suffering due to the dogmatic demands of his code reviewers. So how to find the right balance of brevity and readability?

See the original question here.

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lurkerbelow is the only developer at his company writing unit tests. Management, developers, everyone says they want to write unit tests, but nobody does. To bring developers into line, lurkerbelow has introduced pre-commit code review (Gerrit) and continuous integration (Jenkins). Not working. "How do I motivate my fellow coworkers to write unit tests?" he asks.

Practical deomonstrations help

jimmy_keen Answers (32 votes):

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Mag20 wants to implement automated testing at his company. Problem is, he's tried several times before, but has failed every time. "Everyone gets excited for the first month or two," he writes. "Then, several months in, people simply stop doing it." But now seems like the right time to try bringing automated testing back to the workplace—Mag20's team of 20 experienced developers are about to embark on a big new project.

How can he finally introduce automated testing at his company?

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SomeKittens asks:

In my few years of programming, I've toyed with everything from Ruby to C++. I've done everything from just learning basic syntax (Ruby) to completing several major (for me) projects that stretched my abilities with the language.

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Hafiz asks:

I am a Web application developer, also responsible for project management. I occasionally manage remote developers, who work for me under a contract basis. Sometimes, this can prove very difficult. A few challenges I have encountered:

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