Things I Learnt The Hard Way - Shortcuts Are nice, But Only In The Short Run

A lot of languages/libraries/frameworks add a way to make things shorter, reducing the number of things you need to type.

But, later, that will bite you and you'll have to remove the shortcut and do the long things.

Frameworks and libraries -- and even some languages -- come with "helpers" for most boilerplate things. Instead of typing the same 5 lines of code over and over, you can use a simple function; instead of writing the function with 5 parameters, you can skip a bit and use another one with just one. Or you could just add a simple macro expansion on top of your struct/class and it would complete all the missing points.

Don't get me wrong, they are great.

But you must understand what the macro/function is hiding from you. 'Cause sooner or later, you'll find a case where it doesn't have a perfect fit and you need to change just a small detail. And then you'll start running in circles 'cause, well, how the hell the macro/function did that?

I've bitten before by Spring and Serde 'cause I started with the shortcuts without understanding what they were doing. And then I got a problem which the shortcut wouldn't solve, requiring me to go deep into the documentation. And because I skipped a few steps and jumped straight into the shortcut, it took me awhile to actually get what I needed to do different from the shortcut to solve my problem: I had no idea what the shortcut did and, thus, I had no idea what I needed differently from the shortcut to solve my problem.

<< Learn The Basics of Functional Programming
Debuggers Are Overrated >>