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As I continue reading Uncle Bob’s book and listen to his amazing insights on writing clean code, things that I used to take for granted like comments and formatting have suddenly gained prominence. Not simply because I was taught that these are not important or that I have not followed them before, but I have rather begun to understand the conceptual significance and insignificance of their importance. This is a new kind of teaching that I have begun to enjoy along with his occasional “nerd” jokes in his lecture.

Formatting code — where do I begin? He starts off with…


The more I delve into Uncle Bob’s Clean Code and listen to his lectures I realize that a lot of simple concepts have been misunderstood and misused — to be more blunt, a little bit abused. Comments fall under this category. By definition, they are supposed to describe what the code does and supplement it. But the truth, as Bob describes them, they are a necessary evil. Most likely they become absolutely necessary when a programmer is in rush and does a quick fix but he knows this is not a permanent solution and needs to be cleaned up later…


Having started a series on Clean Code, I also thought this was a good time to understand the Effective Java series by Joshua Bloch. By reading the book and understanding the items, I plan on not just picking up effective programming techniques but also covering Java basics, APIs and some design patterns.

With this in mind, I dived into the first item of the book: Considering static factory methods instead of constructors. And wow was I overwhelmed. Every line in the book conveys something important. Covering just the gist of the first item as follows:

  1. Factory methods with good names…

With the brief introduction on how to name names, Uncle Bob began his diatribe on functions. Programmers love functions. We start typing up functions right away cramming too many things into them. I used to write functions this way when I was a graduate student. I was always in a rush wanting to be the first to submit a programming assignment. Always wanting to be quick and having a working version of code. Never bothered to have the CORRECT code. I felt like Uncle Bob was talking to that old me. …


With this break in my professional career, I wanted to get myself interested in not just theoretical concepts of a programming language or writing code snippets to practise my language skills, but also listen to speeches by industry leaders to get myself motivated into getting back into the industry. And then voila I came across Uncle Bob.

I happened to watch one of the videos of Robert Martin, author of Clean Code and a multitude of other books, famously called as Uncle Bob. I have read his Clean Code once about a decade ago fresh out of my grad school…


Having taken a break from my 6 year old career as a software developer, I tried to revise my Java knowledge to the best of my ability at frequent intervals. This was proving a lot more difficult than I thought. My distractions were many: frequent overseas travels when I was newly married in 2017, then my pregnancy and handling a baby. This might sound like excuses for not getting back on the wagon. But I was truly distracted. …

Mira Alfassa

A programmer on a career break.

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