Knowing and following hidden rules = programming success

Effective computer programming requires that you find all the hidden rules the computer and the language have and to follow them strictly until you get what you want. For instance, I’m coding in ClojureScript, a pleasant language in a hellish development environment which compiles to JavaScript that the browser can read. There’s a tool I use to assist in ClojureScript’s compilation tasks: shadow-cljs. I use shadow-cljs’s watch mode to look at my ClojureScript files and load the changed files right after they’re changed. This avoids the previously necessary steps of restarting the browser and the compiler every change, and by avoiding this one makes each development cycle possibly literally a hundred times faster. Tying back to the hidden rules, here are several that I had to learn to develop effectively with shadow-cljs:

Things like the above are not plainly told, or if they are, they’re buried in an avalanche of competing information. This likely means you’ll need to learn from experience or someone else’s experience (a mentor). Until you know these rules, your two hour coding projects will inevitable shapeshift into a two-week coding monsters which consists mostly of evolving your understanding of your programming environment.