Red Squiggly Programming™


Visual Studio has made me a worse professor. Zac Bowling’s post about Visual Studio rotting his mind made me realize that I adhere to the Red Squiggly Programming™ methodology. This is similar to the Red Squiggly Spelling™ methodology and a distant cousin of the less popular Green Squiggly Grammar Mangler™.

The Red Squiggly Programming method is when you rely on those little red squigglies in VisualStudio to teach you how to program. RSP is one of the core principles of Rapid Application Development and can drastically reduce the amount you have to pay programmers as even a trained monkey can hunt through code completion drop-downs until they find something that works.

As a professor I’m having to do things one step at a time in front of class. Suddenly searching through the code completion drop-down of a Form object isn’t so cool.

Don’t get me wrong: VisualStudio is an excellent IDE, and in the Real World™, the faster I can get a program done, the more money I make.

However, I wonder where you should draw the line? Perhaps twice a week I should force myself to use VIM to write code. I love using Eclipse+phpEclpise to write PHP applications as it seems to be a good balance between helping me code, but still making me use my brain. But perhaps this is why most PHP applications (mine included) are the most frightening mixes of several different programming methodologies.

At any rate, I wonder how the software world would be different without RSP. Probably a lot of extremely stable green screen applications…