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> leaving each function or module you touch a little bit better than you found it.

This is some of the best advice you can give a developer I think it's known as; The Boy Scouts rule: “Always leave the campground cleaner than you found it”.

Some people I've worked with seem to miss the importance of this...

The problem is that someone's definition of "cleaner" can be wildly different from yours. Sometimes even justifiably so.

That's the reason that all companies should have in-house coding standards. There are many different legitimate variations on "clean code", so the important thing is that one variation is chosen and used consistently by all devs. Which variation is chosen is less important.

Yes people can disagree on what "cleaner" code means.

But generally people can agree on badly designed code eg; bad naming, deeply nested logic, bad structure, tight coupling, no separation of concerns...

Sometimes this has been really hard when the campground was already spotless.

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