Summary of RailsConf 2021: Refactoring: A developer's guide to writing well - Jordan Raine

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00:00:00 - 00:35:00

Jordan Raine discusses the importance of writing well in order to improve your code review process and feedback. He also provides tips on how to refactor code in order to make it more organized and easier to understand.

  • 00:00:00 In this video, Jordan Raine discusses the importance of writing well. He points to the 10,000 hour rule, which states that after 10,000 hours of practice, someone is a master writer. He explains that good writing can lead to faster code review and better feedback, and that practice makes perfect. Jordan goes on to discuss three types of writing: code review, pull requests, and write-ups. He advises that, in order to be a good writer, you should focus on deliberate practice and strive for quality over quantity.
  • 00:05:00 Jordan Raine describes the writing process in academic settings, and how the imbalance between the writer and reader can lead to misunderstandings. He provides an example of an experiment in which 80 students were divided into two groups and asked to tap a song on the table. The results showed that the tappers thought 50 of the listeners would guess the tune, but only 3 songs were correctly identified. Jordan argues that this type of writing creates an imbalance between the writer and reader, and that it is difficult to create clear writing. He goes on to say that the first problem is an unexpected one: the writer knows too much.
  • 00:10:00 The curse of knowledge is the phenomenon where good people write bad prose. This can happen when people are trying to explain something to a listener who knows less about the subject than the speaker does. To avoid this, lean heavily on examples when explaining concepts to readers. This will fill gaps in their knowledge and make it easier for them to understand. Finally, walking through a process step by step can help readers understand the same sequence of events that made the concept clear to the speaker.
  • 00:15:00 This video provides tips on how to write well, including tips on how to refactor code. The author recommends rewriting your code multiple times, and suggests deleting phrases that are not relevant to your reader.
  • 00:20:00 RailsConf 2021 speaker Jordan Raine gives a brief overview on how to write well and remove superfluous words to make your writing easier to understand. He advises be careful not to make your writing less clear and to remove any words that may be causing syntactic ambiguities.
  • 00:25:00 Jordan Raine discusses refactoring, a process of rewriting code to make it more organized and easier to understand. He suggests breaking the process down into smaller, more manageable steps, and advises against using too many zombie nouns and passive voice in order to be concise.
  • 00:30:00 In this video, Jordan Raine explains how to write a lead for a story well. He advises to start with the essential information a reader needs to understand what you did and why they should read on. He also recommends using visual aids if possible.
  • 00:35:00 In this video, Jordan Raine discusses how to refactor code in order to make it easier to read and understand. He recommends treating refactoring like writing code, and recommends specific books on the topic if you want to learn more.

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