Programming Nightmares

It’s been a while now that my all I’ve been watching all my television shows on Hulu and one of the shows I subscribe to is Kitchen Nightmares. Seeing the latest episode in my queue reminded me of a production I watched over at TekPub called “Full Throttle: Triage with Ayende Rahien”. This was an interesting production because they took a business problem and showed how someone would address that problem in code. What it got me wondering is if it wouldn’t be possible to do something similar to Kitchen Nightmares, but with large and unruly code-bases, and how a skilled developer would go through the refactoring process to bring them back under control, the same way that Gordon Ramsey does in the kitchen.

To date I’ve purchased a single month subscription to TekPub, twice. I’m not a recurring subscriber because I find the quality of the content to be greatly varied. It misses home for me where my core interests are concerned, and I find I can glean more from reading books and blog posts than I can from this service. That isn’t to say that I find the content to be without value, I think it all depends on your level of familiarity with certain technologies and languages, and I definitely would recommend the purchase of certain productions, but the content isn’t consistently of interest to me to warrant the monthly subscription rate. Again though, I really enjoyed this Full Throttle production and would love to see more like it.

To that end, would it be possible to spawn a “Programming Nightmares” production? Would people out there be receptive of the idea? Would they be open to having one of these gurus of our craft come into their world and dissect there code-base? To me this type of production would be invaluable. We constantly hear criticisms of technologies and patterns, have pitfalls identified, and sometimes we receive recommendations as to how we might do things better, but those recommendations are hardly if ever comprehensive. Is “Programming Nightmares” what has been missing? Is TekPub, or any other similar service, up to the challenge?