Clean code

my attempt at reproducing the infamous `WTF-per-minute` cartoon

Many of us have encountered advice from experienced developers urging us to ‘write clean code.’ While the idea is straightforward —clean, understandable code is easier to extend and maintain — the challenge lies in understanding how to achieve it.

Seasoned developers often seem to possess an intuitive sense for what constitutes ‘clean’ code, a skill that you’ll develop over time. Yet, when you’re just starting out, it’s invaluable to have a set of best practices to guide you in evaluating your code’s cleanliness."


When developing software, it’s tempting to focus solely on making it function correctly. Undoubtedly, functionality is paramount in software development. However, if you’ve ever worked on a substantial software project, you’ve likely spent a considerable amount of time reading and deciphering existing code. Even if you primarily work in isolation, confusion can still arise when revisiting your own code after a significant time-lapse.

But it works! That’s all that matters, right?
A lazy developer

The mean culprit for this confusion is often code that’s simply hard to understand. It lacks expressiveness or becomes overly verbose. One helpful metric to gauge the cleanliness of your code is humorously known as the ‘WTFs per minute metric,’ inspired by a well-known cartoon that has been recreated numerous times.

Writing clean code isn’t just about pleasing your colleagues; it’s a favour to your future self. Projects inevitably evolve, and what was once insignificant can become critical to the application’s success. When the code handling this functionality is messy, adapting to changing requirements can feel like a descent into chaos. So, do yourself a favour, and strive to keep your code comprehensible at a glance. Your colleagues and your future self will thank you.