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1.5 Get Personal

 
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1.5 Get Personal

Use any personal knowledge that you have of the developer, or find out what you can about how they program. Are they inclined to test and be thorough, or do they frequently make mistakes and goof off? If you don't know anything about them, don't assume they knew what they were doing and then puzzle endlessly over a strange fragment of code. That code might be irrelevant or just wrong, and left in for no good reason. Knowing the habits and level of sophistication of the developer will be invaluable in deciphering the program.

Knowing something about the programming background of the developer could also be helpful. If they have, for instance, much experience in C but little in Perl, their Perl programs may look like C code. Don't spend a lot of time puzzling over why they have neglected efficient mechanisms such as list returns from functions or hashes when the cause is quite probably that they have discovered that they can program Perl "just like C" (or Java, or bash, or . . . )

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