We are in the process of receiving code on behalf of a customer that is being delivered by a vendor. I couldn’t help but recall a comic I had once seen that sums up the mental process of analyzing code quality.
When mentally assessing someone’s code, I am generally lenient (much more so than when assessing my own team) as long as 1) it works and 2) it accomplishes the business need. Many times, there are external factors (time, money, changing requirements, etc.) that dictate the resulting code, so the “WTFs” represented in this comic don’t typically bother me too much. That’s not to say there aren’t coding practices that I find bothersome, but I’ll save that for a different post.