Code Warnings

As a developer, I often look at someone else’s code. It may be a coworker, an open source project, or a code snippet on Stack Overflow. No matter the source, I often look at the code and wonder why something was done the way it was. That’s ok – that’s just part of being a developer. But some things make you seriously question the original developer’s technical prowess. For example, I was looking at some code today that was annotated to ignore all warnings. That’s a pretty brave move, as it assumes you know better than the computer does where problems may be. Reality is, you don’t. And when you ignore all warnings, you set yourself up for failure. For example, today I saw a piece of code with countless variables that were all context-specific in Android. When I removed the ‘hide warnings’ annotation, I saw countless warnings about how these variables would cause memory leaks. That’s pretty serious for a long running application, and it negatively impacts the user experience. Certainly some, in fact many, warnings can be safely ignored. But ignoring all warnings is a recipe for disaster.

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