The importance of readable code

When we talk about Software development, what do you think is more important: well working code or readable code?

I think the vast majority of developers thinks that readable code is desirable, but the main point is to have the code running, and running well. I have thought that way a lot of time.

But with the programming experience, through the years, you become more conscious about the importance of code readibility.

If a legacy code fails, but is well and clearly written, it is easy to fix it and maintain it. But if you have a good running system which internal code is a mess, it invariably will be early impossible to maintain and evolve. and if developers do not do the effort of refactoring it, the problem will be more and more big. You will reach the point when the effort of maintaining it and fix any minimum issue will not be compensated.

You must write code as if you were telling a story. You want than everybody understand your intent and your code must be easy to change by any programmer.

Do not only pursue good performance. Writing readable code is one of the best things that we, professional developers, must do.

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