I’m working with a few of my colleagues on an “official” set of programming standards. My contribution is very strongly influenced by Robert Martin’s Clean Code, A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship.
It’s hard to find just one quote that distills down the parts that I like about the book, but this one comes close:
When people look under the hood, we want them to be impressed with the neatness, consistency and attention to detail that they perceive. We want them to be struck by the orderliness. We want their eyebrows to rise as they scroll through the modules. We want them to perceive that professionals have been at work. If instead they see a scrambled mass of code that looks like it was written by a bevy of drunken sailors, then they are likely to conclude that the same inattention to detail pervades every other aspect of the project.
If you haven’t heard of or gotten around to reading this book, I highly recommend it. It’s very Java oriented but to my thinking, it largely transcends any particular language, especially the opening chapters.