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Ben Nadel at Scotch On The Rock (SOTR) 2010 (London) with: Matt Gifford
Ben Nadel at Scotch On The Rock (SOTR) 2010 (London) with: Matt Gifford ( @coldfumonkeh )

Working Code Podcast - Episode 012: Idiomatic Code

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Many programming languages have a sense of idiomatic code: the "blessed way" to solve a particular set of problems with a language's native constructs. These patterns exist to help people work more effectively together; and, to help new developers adapt to the language. But, unfortunately, the expression of idiomatic code in some communities shifts from "carrot" to "stick", getting used to separate the "right" way from the "wrong" way, thereby creating an implicit division between the "good developers" and the "bad developers".

The ColdFusion / CFML community has never had a sense of "idiomatic code". And, ColdFusion developers are never burdened by the homogeneity of solutions that bubble up to the surface (such as they do in other languages). This can lead to a kind of "beautiful chaos" in which teams find the right tool for the job and spend their time focusing on the needs of the customer rather than worrying about any particular standard.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

This week, the crew talks about idiomatic code, what we think it really means, and how it can serve to both help and hurt a programming community.

Or, listen to the full audio:

Listen to Episode 012, with:

Triumphs & Failures

  • Adam's Triumph - He's not on call this week! And that feels like a sweet, sweet triumph!

  • Ben's Triumph (that's me) - The moment I realized that I was going to miss a deployment deadline, I took a step back and figured out how to properly "descope" the work such that I could meet my deployment deadline by releasing a smaller - yet still meaningful - set of features. I see this as a victory in the agile development mindset.

  • Carol's Triumph - She's going on vacation to Lake Tahoe for some fun in the snow - something she rarely has a chance to do in hot, hot Georgia.

  • Tim's Triumph - For his entire life, Tim has been parting his hair left-to-right. But, in a recent moment of brashness, he threw caution to the wind and tried parting his hair right-to-left. This seemingly small tweak ended up being a total game changer! And, just as Clark Kent transformed into Superman with a change in part, so too has Tim transformed into a more stunning, beautiful version of himself!

    He also figured out why his Redis code wasn't working. Ironically, it had to do with how his tests were running (and how they were mutating the shared data).

Follow the show! Our website is and we're @WorkingCodePod on Twitter and Instagram. New episodes weekly on Wednesday.

Reader Comments

I believe in love. I believe in compassion. I believe in human rights. I believe that we can afford to give more of these gifts to the world around us because it costs us nothing to be decent and kind and understanding. And, I want you to know that when you land on this site, you are accepted for who you are, no matter how you identify, what truths you live, or whatever kind of goofy shit makes you feel alive! Rock on with your bad self!
Ben Nadel