# Wednesday, 04 April 2007

Scott posted today about "Mindful Coding" or "Coding Mindfully", meaning "paying full attention to what you are doing while coding".  It's an easy thing to say, and a very hard thing to do.  We are so habitualized, as a society, to not pay full attention to much of anything that it's hard to really focus on what's happening right now.  I know that between email, questions, lunch, etc. it's difficult for me to focus on the code I'm writing at any given moment.  If nothing else, it's tempting to think about how the code you are writing now will interact with or influence the code you right tomorrow or next week, or the code your neighbor is writing that you have to integrate with.  Before you know it, you aren't really paying full attention to what you are writing.  Personally, this is where I get a lot of value out of refactoring. 

Refactoring allows you to fix the problems caused by wandering attention, if it's done often enough.  Several of the commenters on Scott's post also note that pair programming is a good remedy, and I agree.  When you are collaborating with someone else, you have to focus on the collaboration, which leads to mindfulness about what you are doing right now. 

Go forth and be mindful...