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Tom's Second Law: It's Already Been Done

Or, Do NOT Re-invent the Wheel

When designing and/or implementing anything other than business logic - and sometimes even then - the odds are very good that what you need has already been built. The problems solved by any particular application are usually related, so in a project of reasonable size you're likely to find an existing solution within that same project. And the problems solved by applications in general are largely similar, so thanks to free and open-source software, you're likely to find a solution somewhere out there on the web. Seek out those existing solutions and use them if you can. If you can't use them you can at least learn from them.

Remember what Picasso said - good artists copy, great artists steal. Programmers tend to think that only their code is worthwhile, and that they must write everything themselves from scratch. That mindset is a recipe for disaster. Fight the urge to code everything yourself. Instead, assume that it's already been done, and build it yourself only after you fail to find an existing implementation. You'll be much more productive and produce higher-quality code over the long-term.


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or Have Good Coding Standards Laws don't get any more straightforward than this one. If you're making changes to a piece of code that someone else has written, make your code look like theirs. Use the same naming conventions, formatting conventions,

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