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PyCon 2011 Atlanta

March 9th–17th

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Exhibition of Atrocity

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Experienced / Talk
March 12th 2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Believe it or not, but you can write pretty horrendously awful code even in a language as elegant as Python. Over the years, I've committed my share of sins; now it's time to come clean. Step right up for a tour of twisted, evil, and downright wrong code, and learn some strategies to avoid writing criminally bad code--if you dare!


What does it look like when good intentions go horribly wrong? This talk will take a tour through pathological code from my past (as well as some contributions from friends, coworkers, and the community), featuring such terrors as:

  • Lies, Damn Lies, and Hungarian Notation
  • Crimes Against PEP-8
  • The Diaper Pattern
  • The Beast With a Thousand Elifs
  • The Mile-Long Club
  • God Objects and God Methods
  • The Malignant Menace of Mutable Keyword Arguments
  • The Seductive Lure of Global State
  • Slower Applications Through DTO Bondage
  • A Twisty Maze of Single-Character Variables, All Alike
  • Lambdas, Lambdas Everywhere
  • The List Comprehension That Ate Cincinnati
  • Adventures in Wheel Reinvention
  • New and Creative Ways to Break the Build well as others as time permits.