A bag o' tricks from the Perlmeister

Write Down Everything

Often, a developer stumbles across ugly code constructs such as duplications or obvious bugs that output ugly warnings at run time. Then, a small distraction happens, such as the discovery of even more catastrophic failures that must be resolved immediately or a work disruption in the form of a meeting with the boss – and the previously discovered error falls through the cracks. Nothing is more annoying than to see errors that you already discovered pop up later during a live demo or in production, because you let them slip through.

Therefore, make a note of everything, either in a note system such as Evernote or, if you have the discipline to repeatedly look for to-do tags in your code, with such keywords. Beware, however; many developers never actually look for these later, as is evident by many an open source module that contains forgotten to-do constructs, even if the code has seen years of production. Automatic search as part of the release process makes sure the cleanup actually happens later.

Mike Schilli

Mike Schilli works as a software engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can be contacted at mailto:mschilli@perlmeister.com. Mike's homepage can be found at http://perlmeister.com.


  1. "Agile, Test Driven Development" by Mike Schilli, Linux Magazine, Issue 154, 2013: http://www.linux-magazine.com/Issues/2013/154/Perl-Test-Driven-Development
  2. The author's Vimrc file: https://github.com/mschilli/dotfiles
  3. "Headache-Free Continuous Integration" by Mike Schilli, Linux Magazine, Issue 140, 2012: http://www.linux-magazine.com/Issues/2012/140/Perl-Travis-CI
  4. "Perl Script as a Sniffer with Built-In Statistics" by Mike Schilli, Linux Magazine, Issue 180, 2015: http://www.linux-magazine.com/Issues/2015/180/Perl-Build-a-Sniffer
  5. "A Lifting Experience at the Dock" by Mike Schilli, Linux Magazine, Issue 163, 2014: http://www.linux-magazine.com/Issues/2014/163/Perl-Testing-Modules-with-Docker
  6. Listings for this article: ftp://ftp.linux-magazine.com/pub/listings/magazine/192/Perl
  7. Effing Package Management: https://github.com/jordansissel/fpm/wiki

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