Labs Tip: Dont Reinvent the Wheel

When building a complex application or service, any light is better then stumbling around in the dark.

When I look at many companies Web applications, services and portal implementations, Im often surprised by the amount of unnecessary and unusual work that went into developing them. It isnt uncommon to see weird coding, configurations and design decisions that could have been a lot more elegant and efficient if the developers had taken one simple step--namely, looking at the sample code and implementations that were available from the IDE, portal or application server that they were using.

I think the tendency to pass over the provided samples comes from the same impulse that usually leads to responses of "RTFM"--basically, the desire to get down to work as quickly as possible. But if you arent at least looking at sample code, you are probably unnecessarily reinventing the wheel. In almost all cases, these samples are derived from implementations that were done at real companies.

Now, I dont think its a good idea to lift a sample application as a whole for your business. This could lead to po-tential security problems down the road, as everyone else also has access to this code. But samples provide good tips and ideas for building your implementation. And when building a complex applica-tion or service, any light is better then stumbling around in the dark.