To achieve clean code, programmers should value:
- Simplicity over complexity
- Clarity over obfuscation
- Being dumb over being clever
Clean code allows others to understand how it works. This improves:
- Readability (shared mental models)
- Quality (confidence that it does what it’s supposed to do and not cause bugs)
If you’re given a choice between (1) code that’s prematurely optimized but hard to read and (2) code that’s less performant but easier to understand, you should prefer the latter over the former. Developers will thank you.