Frankenstein Code


This week I was reading an article on the demise of academia by Dr Traver. It was describing the downfall of British universities and how it happened; the really scary part is that we, in Mauritius right now, seem to be doing exactly the same mistake that UK did some years back! I won’t tell you more but I very strongly recommend this article – available here.

However, what I’d like to talk about is a term that I found in the article “Frankenstein code”.

The Frankenstein’s monster, in Mary Shelley’s book, was created from bones of dead corpses and Victor Frankenstein sparks life into it. But in other versions (cinematographic ones), the Frankenstein monster is made up from patches of human corpses very crudely sewn together – this is the Frankenstein monster I’m referring to!

So where does coding fits in? Well for some assignments, students at uni tend to submit Frankenstein code; code taken from I don’t know where, written by I don’t know who (and so ridiculously complex with so many pointers that they seem to be made up only of *) that they have very very loosely sewn together (through function calls). The code segments seem to be hanging by a thread that may at any time snap!

Software Engineering (beurk… I hate that module at uni) precognises code reuse and our appretice Victor Frankenstein (read some students) are happily breathing life in patched up monsters :). And, as assignments, we get a beauty pagent with Frankenstein monsters as contestants.


2 responses to “Frankenstein Code

  1. This practice of writing frankestein codes at uni really gets back at people, especially when they get to work , where we have to abide by certain standards and norms etc… so that the deliverables are of a quality acceptable to our client … no more copy paste from bizarre sites at the 4 ends of the web,and praying that these work lol !!! It is during these times that most of the Viktor Frankestein apprentices wish they had paid more attention in their ‘Programming Methodology’ classes… but unfortunately we can’t go back in time lol

    NOTE: Wat I wrote about above is just wat I’ve observed all around me(friends and colleagues who go half mad when an SLA is due, and they haven’t written a single line of working code yet!!) I’m not talking or rather writing from my own experiences, let’s make it clear 🙂

    BTW nice blog, Mr Grosset 🙂

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